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Professor of Mathematics, etc., in the National College for the Deaf, Washington, U. S. A. 




Gibson Brothers, 

printers and bookbinders, 

washington, d. c. 


This book has been printed, through the liberality of the Volta Bureau, to signalize an educational 
movement of international interest. 

The object of the movement referred to is, to secure provision for the elementary education of every 
deaf child in the United Kingdom, and incidentally to promote the greatest efficiency practicable in the 
instruction afforded. 

In furtherance of this end, a Commission created by the Crown in 1885, with special reference to the 
blind, was instructed, January 20, 1886, to enlarge the scope of inquiry, and was empowered " to investi- 
gate and report upon the condition and education of the deaf and dumb." 

This Commission endeavored to examine the whole field of deaf-mute instruction with characteristic 
British thoroughness and energy. Schools upon the Continent were visited, and in London the Commis- 
sioners held one hundred and sixteen sittings, calling before them for examination forty-three persons 
as experts specially interested in the welfare of the deaf, and deemed capable of giving information of 
great value upon the subjects of inquiry. 

The complete report of the Commission forms a great work of 1574 large octavo pages in four 
volumes, which was presented to Parliament in 1889, upon the conclusion of the labors of the Commission. 

The direct evidence in this volume has been extracted from the third volume of the Report of the- 
Royal Commission. It includes the testimony of President Edward Miner Gallaudet, Ph. D., LL.D., 
and of Mr. Alexander Graham Bell, Ph. D., M. D., etc. Dr. Gallaudet, President of the National 
Deaf-Mute College, and Chairman of the Standing Executive Committee of Conventions of American In- 
structors of the Deaf, appeared before the Commission in November, 1886, upon the invitation of the British 
Government communicated through the Secretary of State. President Gallaudet appeared as the 
accredited representative of the profession in America. His evidence, with the accompanying exhibits, is 
found in Part I. of this volume. Eighteen months later, in June, 1888, Dr. Bell appeared, on the invita- 
tion of the Royal Commission, and testified, incorporating in his evidence replies obtained by him from 
seventy-five per cent, of the heads of schools in America to special points upon which information was 
sought by the Commission. Dr. Bell's evidence, etc., appears in Part II. of this work. 

The Table of Contents and the Index to this volume indicate in some measure the magnitude of the 
labor of love undertaken by President Gallaudet and Dr. Bell. The variety and importance of the 
subjects discussed by these eminent men make it inexpedient to attempt to give an epitome of their 
evidence, or a critical estimate of the value of the matter presented by them. "It is sufficient to say that 
every intelligent friend of deaf children who reads this book will not only be the wiser for the reading, 
but will be stimulated to greater efforts for the welfare of the deaf. 

To readers unfamiliar with the deaf, and with the history of deaf-mute instruction, who may note 
antagonistic and divergent views in these pages, the writer would say that the art of instructing and 
educating the deaf is still in its youth. Though philosophers had demonstrated "the practicability 
of this extraordinary art " and a hundred instances, or more, of instructed deaf-mutes had flashed their 
feeble rays of light along the ages, the learned John Bulwer, contemporary of Milton, and Butler, and 
Bacon, met with no encouragement whatever in the earliest effort on record to found a school for those 
" originally deafe and dumb." Referring to his project, Bulwer says : " I soon perceived by falling into 
discourse with some rationall men about such a designe that the attempt seemed so paradoxicall, prodig- 
ious, and Hyperbolicall, that it did rather amuse than satisfie their understandings." Indeed, more than 
a century followed, in which Dalgarno, and Wallis, and Holder, of Oxford, and Deusing, and Van Hel- 
mont, and Amman, on the continent, wrote apparently upon the sand before the first enduring schools 
were established by Braidwood, De l'Epee, and Heinicke, who groped their way in darkness along an 
unbeaten path. Living octogenarians may have known persons who were the first pupils in the schools 
of these pioneers. 

The problems which have confronted all laborers in this field are many and difficult ; and though 
able and well-equipped minds have been devoted to the solution of them, few, if any, fundamental 
principles have been established, and definite methods of procedure have not found general acceptance. 
The education of the deaf has not passed yet beyond the experimental stage. Though methods and 
systems may be-sharply differentiated, I am persuaded from personal observation, from conversation with 
instructors, and from a study of the literature of the subject, that the instruction of the deaf is in 



a state of transition and of progress which renders the shibboleths of the past, vague, and of 
doubtful utility aside from the historical interest which may attach to them. 

The teaching of language, as the key to knowledge, rightly holds the foremost place in the instruc- 
tion of the deaf. In this branch, radical reforms are steadily making progress which have not been 
subjected as yet to statistical inquiry. Subordinate to language-teaching, though holding a more promi- 
nent place in current thought and discussion, is the teaching of speech. Figures are at hand to illustrate 
the progress of this phase of improvement in the education of the deaf in the United States. In 1887, 
the total number of deaf children under instruction was 7,978, of whom 2,556, or 32 per cent., were 
taught articulation; in 1891, four years later, 9,232 deaf children were under instruction, of whom 4,245, 
or 46 per cent., received instruction in articulation. In the former year, out of 577 teachers, 171, or 
29.6 per cent., were engaged in teaching speech ; in the latter, out of 686 teachers, 258, or 37.6 per cent., 
were teachers of speech. The reader is referred to page 259 in Part III. for interesting tables which 
more fully illustrate the growth of speech-teaching in the United States. 

The returns of pupils taught by speech are incomplete. The number reported for 1891 is 963, or 10.4 
per cent, of the entire number of deaf pupils attending school. 365 of these were in the New England 
States where they formed 64.7 per cent, of the whole number of pupils, and 72.1 per cent, of the pupils 
receiving instruction in speech. 

The following table, presenting the statistics of speech-teaching in the United States by geographical 
groups, has been compiled from the returns tabulated by Dr. E. A. Fay in the American Annals for 
January, 1892 : 




Territorial Groups. 








Per cent. 





Per cent, 
of Articu- 









Middle States, Maryland and District of Columbia.... 




9, 232 






Much of the progress indicated above may be of a superficial character, but the schools of the future 
will realize substantial benefits from the intelligence, independence, and zeal which characterize the 
workers in many of our schools who have already broadened and deepened the education of the deaf 
along various lines to an extent unattempted and undreamed of in other lands. 

American readers will be interested in knowing that the evidence presented by President Gallaudet 
and Dr. Bell exerted a marked influence in England. A copy of the official summary of the recommen- 
dations of the Commission may be found in Part III. of this volume. A bill founded largely upon these 
recommendations, but applying to Scotland only, was introduced into the House of Lords by the Marquis 
of Lothian, President of the Scotch Educational Department, on the 22d of May, 1890. This bill passed 
both Houses of Parliament, received the Royal assent, and has become a law. 

A bill drawn up by the government to make better provision for the elementary education of the blind 
and of the deaf in England and Wales was introduced by Viscount Cranbrook, the Lord President of the 
Council, into the House of Lords, and it was ordered to be printed July 1st, 1890. This bill, subsequently 
amended, passed the House of Lords but did not reach the Commons. A copy of this bill will be found 
in Postscripts, Part III. Taking advantage of the public discussion and criticism of the original bill a 
new bill was introduced into the House of Lords the succeeding winter and passed, but was not presented 
to the House of Commons: 

Assurances have been given that the government will for the third time bring this measure before 
Parliament at the coming session and that a vigorous effort will be made to render operative by legislation 
the following recommendations : Substantial subsidies to existing institutions of approved standing, the 
founding of new institutions and day-schools if necessary, capitation grants with provision for mainte- 
nance in necessitous cases, compulsory attendance, governmental inspection with reports upon " the 
knowledge of written language, speech, and the general efficiency of the schools under whatever system,' 

Introductory. v 

non-interference with methods of instruction so long as the result in written or spoken language is satis- 
factory, and saving clauses respecting the rights and obligations of parents in regard to choice of school, 
religious training, and contributing to the support of children according to ability. 

Notwithstanding threatened opposition from several associations in no way connected with the edu- 
cation of the deaf, there is reason to believe that the perfected measure will command the support of well- 
informed friends of the deaf and of philanthropists without regard to party affiliations. Partisan opposition 
is apprehended from party men having at best a superficial acquaintance with the subject of deaf-mute 
instruction. The main grounds upon which opposition is anticipated are the fear of sectarianism and the 
fear of exclusiveness in the management of institutions. Outside of the few schools organized and main- 
tained expressly in the interest of some particular creed or cult, sectarianism is practically unknown in 
schools for the deaf either in Great Britain or in the United States. 

The fear of exclusiveness in the management of schools may not be altogether groundless. In 
America examples of fossilized corporations are not unknown. But there is need of caution in the appli- 
cation of a remedy, and too great care cannot be exercised in devising safeguards against the introduc- 
tion of party politics under the cloak of " popular control." The efficiency of a few schools in America 
has been seriously impaired by the operation of vicious laws. These laws made it possible for "practical 
politicians " to secure the control and management of certain State schools as a reward for partisan ser- 
vices. The baneful effects have been fully realized in widespread demoralization in but few cases. But 
even in cases where partisanship has been held in abeyance, trustees have been selected whose highest 
conception of duty has found expression in a balance-sheet more creditable to an almshouse or a prison 
than to a highly specialized educational establishment. 

The spectre of sectarianism need occasion our British friends no alarm, but vigilance must be exer- 
cised to shut out partisanship and incompetency from all possibility of controlling schools for the deaf. 

It is to be hoped most earnestly that Parliament will be aroused from its lethargy, and, in response 
to the appeals of an enlightened and ever-growing public sentiment, that it may be led with wisdom 
to legislate for the welfare of deaf children for whom no provision is assured by law, and thus to remove 
a reproach which rests upon the British government alone among the great powers of the world. 

It may be noted that Postsckipts, Part III., contains matter not submitted to the Commission nor 
heretofore printed. Here, in connection with a series of charts of Visible Speech, may be found, for the 
first time in print, an exposition of Visible Speech, with special reference to the application of the sys- 
tem to the teaching of deaf children. The latest available statistics of schools for the deaf in the United 
Kingdom, Germany, and in the United States, are also given in this part in the pages preceding the index. 

The editor's acknowledgments are due to Harper & Brothers, A. S. Barnes & Co., Wm. Wood & Co., 
and to the publishers of the "American Supplement to the Encyclopedia Britannica," for courteous per- 
mission to use copyrighted matter appearing in the Exhibits. Acknowledgment is due also to the 
.authors of papers which have been taken from the Ameeican Annals of the Deaf. 

In the preparation of these pages for the press I have been kindly assisted by A. W. McCurdy, Esq , 
by the Hon. John Hitz, and by others who, though unnamed, have rendered services none the less 


National College for the Deaf, 
Kendall Green, 

Washington, D. G, January .1st, 1892. 



Introduction, Professor Gordon iii 


President Gallatjdet's Evidence 1-39 

Exhibits by President Gallaudet : 

Census Returns for 1830, 1840, 1850, Dr. H. P. Peet 43 

Census Returns for 1850, 1860, 1870, Dr. E. A. Fay 49 

Census Returns for 1880, Dr. E. A. Fay 51 

Report of Committee on Forms for Registration of Statistics 52 

History of the Education of the Deaf in the United States, President Gallaudet 54 

Deaf-Mutes, Dr. E. A. Fay 60 

Statistics of Schools for the Deaf for 1885 72 

The True Combined System, Mr. A. L. E. Crouter 76 

Comprehensive Education in its Philosophy and Practice, Dr. G. O. Fay 79 

Oral and Aural Training, Report of Address by President Gallaudet 81 

A System of Education adapted to all Deaf-Mutes not excluding the Feebler-minded, Dr. 

Job Williams 82 

Poetry of the Deaf, President Gallaudet 83 

The " American " Manual Alphabet, Professor Gordon 94 

The Manual Alphabet as a part of the Public- School Course, Mr. James Denison 98 

How Shall the Deaf be Educated 1 President Gallaudet 100 

Milan Convention, President Gallaudet , 104 

Exhibits of Proceedings, Annals, and School-Reports 110 


Dr. Bell's Evidence 1-66 

Exhibits by Dr. Bell : 

Census Returns of New England for 1880 67 

An Open Letter concerning the bill relating to the instruction of deaf-mutes in incorporated 

cities and villages 69 

Extracts from the Laws of Wisconsin 73 

Facts and Opinions Relating to the Deaf, from America : 

Circular Letter to Superintendents and Principals 74 

I. Visible Speech : 75 

II. Auricular Instruction 78 

HI. Intermarriages of the Deaf : 88 

IV. Instruction of the Deaf 106 

V. Statistics of Articulation-Teaching 124 

VI. Miscellaneous Material \ 126 

Articulation-Teaching in 1883 130 

The Semi-Deaf 131 

Exhibits of Photograph, School-Reports, Memoir, Genealogical Charts 132 

Is there a Correlation between Defects of the Senses 1 134 

The Brown Family ; the Allen Family 136 

What Kind of Trades Shall be Taught 1 Rev. Edward Everett Hale, D. D 137 

Auricular Instruction 139 

Exhibits of Deaf-Mates' Journal, Catalogue of Deaf Children of Deaf Parents, Charts of 

Visible Speech 143 

viii Table of Contents. 

Exhibits by Dr. Bell — Continued : 

Visible Speech as a Means of Conimunicating Articulation to Deaf-Mutes 144 

Upon a Method of Teaching Language to a Very Young Congenitally Deaf Child 150 

Fallacies Concerning the Deaf 155 

Discussion : President Gallaudet, Hon. G. G. Hubbard, Dr. Bell 1"! 

Deaf Classes in the Public Schools i68 

Discussion : Dr. Gillett and others 1 '0 

Notions of the Deaf and Dumb before Instruction, Harvey P. Peet, LL. 1> 173 

Singular Observation of Dr. Itard 1°5 

Deaf-Mutes of Chilmark I 86 

The Lovejoy Family, with chart 1° ' 

Visible Speech at the Belleville Convention 18^ 

Miss Worcester's Method 192 

The Deaf in the Eleventh Census • 197 

Report of Census Committee 201 

Final Form of Schedule 203 


Postscripts : 

Comments on Dr. Bell's Evidence, President Gallaudet 207 

The Census of 1880 ; Reply to President Gallaudet's Comments, Rev. F H. Wines 212: 

Deaf Children of Deaf Parents : Revised Tables 214 

The Massachusetts Census of 1885 : Tables 228 

Graphical Charts, etc 241 

Visible-Speech and Line- Writing 248 

Summary of Recommendations of the Royal Commission 254 

Governmental Bill for England and Wales 255 

Methods of Instruction in American Schools, with Statistics, Dr. Fay 25T 

Comparative Statistics of American Schools for a number of years, Dr. Bell 25J> 

Statistics of Schools in the United Kingdom, Professor Gordon 260 

Statistics of Schools in Germany, etc 261 

Index i-xxvi 


Evidence of President Gallaudet, with accompanying 


Royal Commission on the Blind, the Deaf and Dumb, &c. 

32 Abingdon Street, Westminster. 
Tuesday, 9th Novembeb, 1886. 
Present : 
The Right Hon. the LORD EGERTON OF TATTON in the Chaik. 

Admiral Sir E. Sotheby, K.C.B. 

William Woodall, Esq., M.P. 

F. J. Campbell, Esq., LL.D. 

W. Tindal Robertson, Esq., M.D. 

T. R. Armitage, Esq., M.D. 

The Rev. W. Blomefield Sleight, M.A. 

The Rev. Charles Mansfield Owen, M.A. 

E. C. Johnson, Esq. 

W. Auchinoloss Arrol, Esq. 

B. St. John Ackers, Esq. 

Charles Few, Esq. 

Charles E. D. Black, Esq., Secretary. 

Dr. E. M. Gallaudet, examined. 

13.101. {Chairman.) You are president of the 
National Deaf-Mute College at Washington ? — That 
is my office. I am president of the corporation of 
that institution, as well as of the 'Faculty of In- 
struction, the corporation being the governing body. 

13.102. You were recently at a convention in 
California of instructors of deaf-mutes in America? 
— Yes ; I have here a minute from the proceedings 
of that convention, which I beg leave to present as 
a credential from that convention, giving its views 
with reference to my coming to give evidence be- 
fore this Commission, which will show the Commis- 
sion what constituency I represent relating to in- 
stitutions for the education of the deaf in America ; 
and before I read this minute, I should like to say 
that at this convention there were actual instruc- 
tors and principals from 43 of the 67 schools in our 
country. This convention met in California in July, 
and it may be taken as having been the largest and 
most representative convention that has ever been 
held in America, consisting, as it did, of members 
from schools of all the different methods in our 
country. The minute is as follows : " Minute unan- 
" imously adopted by the Eleventh Convention of 
" American Instructors of the Deaf, at Berkeley, 
" Cal., July 21, 1886. The American Instructors 
" of the Deaf, assembled in Convention at Berkeley, 
" Cal., desire to congratulate their professional 
" brethren in Great Britain and Ireland upon the 
" appointment of the Royal Commission to inquire 
" into the Education of the Blind and of the Deaf, 
" and beg leave to express the hope that the labors 
" of the Commission will result in the recognition 
" by the British Government of the just claim of 
" blind and deaf children to education by the State. 
" We learn with pleasure that the Royal Commis- 
" sion has invited Dr. E. M. Gallaudet, President 
" of the National Deaf-Mute College, and Chairman 
" of the executive committee of this Convention, to 
" appear before them ; and we take this occasion to 
" commend President Gallaudet to the Commission 
'• as one who possesses in the highest degree our 
" confidence and esteem." I hold the office of chair- 
man of the standing executive committee of that 
convention, which is held quadrennially, and my 
office as chairman of the standing executive com- 
mittee places me at the head of the organization in 
the interim between its meetings. 

13.103. You have had previous meetings? — Quite 
a number. 

13.104. How long have these quadrennial meet- 
ings been held ? — Since 1851. 

13.105. Can you furnish us with any statistics of 
the number of deaf-mutes in the United States ; 
has there been any accurate census made of them ? — 
I am prepared to furnish such statistics. I have 
a brief statement before me giving some compar- 

ative results of figures with references to extended Dr. E. M. 
statements, which I am prepared to leave with the Gallaudet. 

Commission, in the form of documents. I may say 

that during the last 50 years the statistics of the 9 Nov. 188 6. 
deaf and dumb have been increasingly full in our 
country, and an interesting question with us has 
been the proportion of deaf to the general popula- 
tion, and whether or not that proportion was in- 
creasing or diminishing. In 1830, out of a white 
population of 10,532,060, there were 5,363 deaf- 
mutes, giving a ratio of one in 1,964. Ten years 
later, in a population of 14,189,218 white people, 
there were 6,682 deaf-mutes, giving a ratio of one 
in 2,123. In 1850, with a population of 19,630,738 
white people, there were 9,469 deaf-mutes, giving a 
ratio of one in 2,079. I have given the white pop- 
ulation for the reason that it appeared, on an exami- 
nation of these results, that the enumeration of 
blacks was very erroneous, so much so that to take 
the few millions of blacks in our country in those 
three decades and mass them with the whites, would 
give an entirely erroneous impression as to the 
proper proportion, so I leave them out up to 1850. 
In 1850 much more care was taken, and the total 
population being in that year 23,191,876, there were 
9,803 deaf-mutes, making the proportion one in 
2,365, rather diminishing the ratio. In 1860 the 
proportion remained almost exactly the same, one 
in 2,452, the total population being 31,443,321, and 
the number of deaf-mutes being 12,821. In 1870, 
the proportion remained still almost exactly the 
same, one in 2,379, the total population being 
38,558,371, and the number of deaf-mutes being 
16,205. I would refer the Commissioners to our 
Annals, Vol. V, p. 9 ; Vol. XIX, p. 107 ; and Vol. 
XXVIII, p. 206, where very suggestive and valuable 
articles are to be found with regard to these statis- 
tics, and where conclusions are drawn which may 
be taken as quite authoritative. In 1880, our last 
census, the proportion increases to one in 1,480 
(the population being 50,155,783, and the number 
of deaf-mutes 33,878) which is quite a remarkable 
change, and the cause of this apparent great in- 
crease in the number of deaf-mutes has been a sub- 
ject of very considerable discussion among special- 
ists in our country. There are those who have said 
that it has grown out of the intermarriage of deaf- 
mutes j it is seriously doubted by others whether 
that has had an important influence on the result, 
for an examination of the actual reports made in the 
taking of this 1880 census shows that the officers 
in charge of this special branch of the census, in 
their great zeal to have a very full and perfect cen- 
sus of deaf-mutes, erred on the other side, and in 
many cases enumerated the same person twice, and 
even three times. It is extremely difficult to arrive 
at an absolutely certain result with regard to the 
proportion of deaf-mutes at the last census, but a suf- 


Dr. E. M. 


9 Nov. 1886. 

ficient number of errors of the character I have 
mentioned have been found in examining the re- 
ports to make it practically certain that the ratio of 
the deaf to the whole population has not materially 
increased over the figures of the previous censuses. 
It may be taken that the ratio before 1880 was too 
small, and it may be presumed that one in 1,800 
would represent accurately the proportion ; and this 
figure of one in 1,480, if it were corrected for error, 
would come to very nearly the same proportion of 
one in 1,800, and that may be taken as undoubtedly 
very nearly the proportion of our deaf-mutes in our 
population in America to-day. 

13.106. After all, the figures are not absolutely 
accurate? — In the volumes of the Annals to which 
I make reference, articles will be found written 
by specialists, who have very carefully considered 
these figures, drawing certain conclusions from 

13.107. But after all they are only specialists ? — 
Tes, the figures cannot be taken as absolutely ac- 
curate. We have not been able to arrive at a result 
which we could say was absolutely accurate. 

13.108. You say that according to the last census, 
the number of deaf and dumb in the United States 
was 33,878 ? — In one paper that I was looking at, 
giving a report of the proceedings at one of the 
conventions, the number is stated to be not less 
than 35,000. This figure is less than 34,000. The 
35,000 may have been given as round numbers. 
This was six years ago. We have had no census 
since 1880. 

13.109. Probably 35,000 would be the number at 
the present time ? — It is quite possible. In connec- 
tion with the statistics of the deaf and dumb, I may 
mention that there are to be found in the Report 
of the Special Committee of the Fifth Conference 
of Principals (which is set out in the Annals, Vol. 
XXX, p. 52), suggestions of forms for collecting 
and preserving statistics of the deaf admitted to 
schools. Those suggested forms were prepared by 
a special committee appointed by a conference of 
principals held in Minnesota two years ago. I draw 
attention to them for the reason that an earnest 
effort has been made in America to induce all the 
schools to adopt these forms, which are very full 
and clear, for collecting and preserving statistics 
relative to deaf-mutes, and which forms might prob- 
ably be found useful as suggesting something which 
might be adopted in England. 

13.110. I observe in one of the reports, allusion 
is made to boards of charity, and boards of educa- 
tion; will you explain the respective functions of 
those two boards ? — Boards of charity are organized 
and authorized by the legislatures of our States. 
There is a board of charity in the State of Massa- 
chusetts, for instance, and another in the State of 
Illinois, and they are in the nature of commissions ; 
a certain number of men are appointed by the legis- 
latures, or authority is given by the legislatures to 
the Governor to appoint a certain number of men 
to supervise all the charitable institutions, and 
sometimes institutions for correction are included 
in those commissions, and they make reports to the 
legislatures. They have in varying degrees au- 
thority conferred upon them to interfere even with 
the management of those institutions. 

13.111. Are the organization and government of 
schools for the deaf under the general boards of 
education, or under the boards of charity 1 ? — The 
practice varies. When I come to my next head I 
will give some particulars with regard to the rela- 
tion of the State to the schools. In connection with 
my first head (Statistics of the Deaf in America), I 
may refer the Commissioners to an historical sketch 
of the schools for the deaf, in America, in an article 
in the Annals, Vol. XXXI, p. 130, reprinted from 
the American Supplement to the Encyclopedia Brit- 

annica, and also to an exceedingly valuable article by 
Professor Fay, of the College at Washington, in 
Buck's Beference Handbook of the Medical Sciences, 
published recently in New York, which article con- 
tains very valuable information with reference to 
statistics, and various other points. A copy of 
Professor Fay's article is submitted. 

13.112. Will you now go to your second head, 
the exterior organization of schools for the deaf in 
America ? — In speaking of the exterior organization 
of schools for the deaf, it may be said that we have 
three different forms in America. First, we have 
the corporate form, where a certain number of per- 
sons are erected by law into a body corporate and 
politic, who exercise control over the institutions 
which they are authorized to create and sustain. 
That form of government exists in New England, 
in New York State, in Pennsylvania, and at Wash- 
ington, the institutition at which place is sustained 
by the Federal Government. There is then another 
form, called the State Institution, where the legis- 
lature of the State creates a committee or board of 
directors, or trustees as they may be termed, into 
whose hands it places the care and government of 
the institution»and the property belonging to such 
institutions under this State organization belongs 
absolutely to the State; the lands and buildings 
are vested in the State (in the other case the prop- 
erty is vested in the corporation, who hold it as 
corporations usually hold property). The State 
organization exists in the South and West generally. 
We have then a third organization in some of our 
cities of day schools for deaf-mutes, which are organ- 
ized and governed by school boards, and sustained 
out of the taxes paid in the cities for the support 
of public schools, so that we have this variety of 
organization in our country, and variety also of 
method of support ; the Washington institution 
being supported out of the general Treasury of the 
United States, and so is a burden on the whole 
country, the State institutions being sustained by 
taxes raised in the States, while in the cities the 
school organization is sustained out of the city taxes. 

13.113. Is there any education rate ? — We have 
in most of our States a general education rate. 

13.114. In other cases the schools are supported 
by the general taxes of the cities 1 — Yes. 

13.115. In how many cities are there these day 
schools? — There are day schools in about six or 
seven. I should be glad to be allowed to say, in 
connection with these various organizations, that 
the corporate organization in our country seems to 
have been the one under which the very best results 
have been reached, for reasons which I conceive to 
be very well worthy of the consideration of the 

13.116. Have they any endowments * — Some of 
them have endowments, two or three. 

13.117. Do you think that important * — I think 
it is quite desirable, where they have endowments, 
that they should be allowed to use the income of 
them ; not to have them interfered with by the 
State. But I was going to say, that in the cases 
of the State organizations, those which are under 
the legislatures of the States, where we have changes 
of political parties from time to time, very disas- 
trous results have occurred from the interference of 
the State authorities in the management of these 
institutions, purely for the sake of party patronage, 
valued and experienced instructors, and even prin- 
cipals, being replaced by persons very little compe- 
tent to manage such institutions, solely for the pur- 
pose of giving places to persons of the dominant 
political party for the time being. 

13.118. Is that difficulty avoided in the case of 
the corporate institutions! — I think I am justified 
in saying that, in the case of the corporate institu- 
tions, that difficulty is absolutely avoided. 


13.119. I see that the President of the United 
States is the head of the college of which you are 
the President? — Yes. 

13.120. Is he the head of the college ex officio! — 
Yes ; the President in his office as patron has the 
duty of attaching his signature to the diplomas which 
attest the degrees which are conferred by our col- 
lege at Washington, and it is usual for the President 
to be present and preside at the anniversaries of the 
college. Our present President takes an active in- 
terest in the college, and his predecessors in office 
have befriended the college since its organization. 

13.121. The President is not the head of all these 
corporate bodies 1 — No ; he is, by law of Congress, 
the head of this institution. 

13.122. Because it is situated in Washington ? — 
Because it is situated in Washington and because 
it is very largely sustained by appropriations by the 
General Government. I ought to say, with refer- 
ence to these corporations, in several instances they 
have on them officers of the States which contribute 
to the support of those corporate institutions, that 
is to say, to the education and support of the pupils 
in them. In New England the institutions have 
several of the State officers of the different States 
of New England on their boards, and in the corpo- 
ration of the institution at Washington, there are at 
present two Senators and two Members of the House 
of Representatives, who take part in the government 
of the institution. The institution may, in fact, be 
termed a mixed corporation. 

13.123. Are those Senators and Members of the 
House of Representatives elected from time to time, 
or are they members of the corporation for life ? — 
The members of the Senate and House are appointed 
at the beginning of each Congress. I should correct 
myself and say that one Senator is appointed by the 
President of the Senate ; the other Senator happens 
to be a member of our board. Then as regards the 
two Members of the House of Representatives ap- 
pointed by the Speaker, their term of office is for 
two years ; they may be reappointed at the end of 
that term. All the other members of the corpora- 
tion of our institution in Washington and these 
other corporate institutions are permanent. I ought 
to speak of the organization of one institution in 
America, in the State of Maryland, which is quite 
peculiar, and in which some of the difficulties which 
attend the organization of the other State schools 
seem to be done away with. The appointment of 
the board of visitors is vested in the Governor of 
the State, and he is authorized to make appointments 
which are permanent, that is to say, for life, or till 
resignation ; so that the board is appointed under 
the authority of the State. It is a board that can- 
not be changed by the action of a political party. 
That has always seemed to me a very wise arrange- 
ment, assuming that the Governor selects men well 
fitted to govern the affairs of the institution. I 
ought also to add, to show the relations of these 
corporate institutions to the State, that the support 
of the pupils is in most cases provided for by an 
allowance from the State for each pupil. That al- 
lowance is paid on a statement given of the number 
of pupils in the institution. Pennsylvania pays the 
institution at Philadelphia 275 dollars per annum 
for each child received and cared for in that institu- 

13.124. Are those institutions so receiving grants 
from the State subject to inspection, and are the 
grants subject to approval by Government inspec- 
tors ? — The institutions so receiving grants are sub- 
ject to inspection. The inspection is usually man- 
aged by a committee appointed by the legislature to 
visit, inspect, and report, and of course any irregu- 
larity would immediately affect the action of the 
State in reference to this per capita allowance. 

13.125. How many institutions for the deaf and 
dumb are there in the United States ? — That brings 
me to the third head in the programme of topics 

that I have taken the liberty of submitting to the Br. E. M. 
Commission, viz., the interior organization of the Oallaudet. 

schools in the United States, their number, the cost 

of buildings and so forth. There are at present 67 9 NoT - 188 6 - 
schools for the deaf in the United States. Of those, 
14 are corporate, but practically supported by the 
State in the manner I have mentioned, with the ex- 
ception that two or three of them have rather large 
endowments, and therefore the contribution of the 
State is not for their entire support, but only for 
their partial support ; it supplements the income 
from those endowments. While for the Philadel- 
phia Institution the State of Pennsylvania pays 275 
dollars per annum for each child, the States of New 
England pay about 175 dollars per annum, the other 
100 dollars being provided out of the endowments 
of the institution. The endowment of the Hartford 
Institution grew out of a very large appropriation 
of public lands by Congress in the very early his- 
tory of the institution. The lands were sold, and 
the funds invested in interest-paying securities. 34 
of the 67 are State institutions. There are eight 
day-schools, and 11 schools of a private and denomi- 
national character, which cannot be said to be pub- 
lic schools at all, making 67 as the entire number. 
Of those 67 schools, 38 are now carried on on the 
combined system of instruction, 14 on the manual 
method, 12 on the oral method, one is reported as 
experimental, and in two the methods pursued are 
not known. The number of pupils in those institu- 
tions last year was 7,801, the number of teachers 
was 540 : 228 of them being male and 312 female ; 
the proportion of teachers to children being as 1 to 
14. The number of pupils taught speech and lip- 
reading amounted to 3,032. To give an idea of the 
amount expended upon these institutions in what 
we call the plant, I may say that the buildings and 
grounds have cost in sterling money 1,700,000/., and 
for their annual support there is expended 280,000/. 
The plant per pupil, including the expense of build- 
ing, grounds, and everything that is permanent, is 
estimated at 2121. 10s. per capita, and the average 
annual per capita cost of educating those pupils is 
38/ ; that is, excluding the interest on plant. If that 
was taken into account, that amount would be a 
little increased ; but that is more fully given in de- 
tail in the Annals, volume XXXI, p. 82. 

13.126. To whom is the executive management of 
these institutions committed? — With reference to 
the interior organization of these schools, I should 
mention that the institutions are usually governed 
by a principal or superintendent, who is the chief 
executive officer, and a committee, or board of di- 
rectors as they are usually termed, or trustees, to 
act as the legislative body. In most instances they 
take no part in the interior government of the insti- 
tution. They digest the regulations for its gov- 
ernment, and draw out its general line of policy, the 
executive management being committed to the su- 
perintendent or principal who is subject to and re- 
sponsible to the board. There are a few institutions 
where a condition of things exist which we call the 
double-headed system, where there are two execu- 
tive officers, neither of whom is responsible to the 
other, but both of whom are responsible to the board 
of direction, and by those who may perhaps be said 
to be best competent to judge as to the efficiency of 
such an arrangement, it is an arrangement very 
greatly to be deprecated. 

13.127. Is one of those officers the head of the 
educational department, while the other is at the 
head of the housekeeping ? — Yes ; where it is at- 
tempted to govern an institution in that way, a cer- 
tain amount of friction is found to exist, and the 
results reached have not been found satisfactory at 
all ; so that it is laid down as a principle that the 
best thing to be got in the interior organization of 
such institutions is a man who is an experienced 
teacher, and who is capable of assuming the execu- 
tive control of the entire institution. The reason 



Dr. E. M. 

9 Not. 1886. 

for this may be briefly stated thus : that though the 
domestic department may be thought, on casual re- 
flection, to be separate from the educational depart- 
ment, yet the same individuals, the pupils, are under 
these two kinds of management, and very often there 
is friction if two heads are governing ; and there are 
only a few institutions in our country where this 
arrangement exists. I should like to add, on this 
matter of the interior organization of our schools, 
that, as a rule, the principal or superintendent who 
has charge of the institution is not required to teach ; 
he is understood, with very few exceptions, to have 
been an experienced instructor, but is not required 
to devote hours each day to the teaching of a class ; 
that is felt in the organization of our institutions to 
be of very great importance, for the reason that it 
gives the head of the institution time to be present 
more or less in all the classes, and to superintend 
the work of those doing the actual work of teach- 
ing. In the case of two or three State institutions, 
there have been men appointed to take charge of 
them who have been absolutely ignorant of the 
method of teaching the deaf, and they have gone 
on with a principal teacher under them, that princi- 
pal teacher conducting the operations of the school. 
Such an arrangement is thought to be a very un- 
fortunate one. It places a man at the head of the 
institution who cannot in any way direct the work 
for the carrying out of which the institution has 
been established ; but that has been the result of 
political interference. 

We have also in the interior organization of our 
institutions one arrangement that I conceive to be 
of very great importance, viz., that the classes are 
taught in separate rooms. I have found in my visits 
to schools in England that a number of them have 
several classes in a large school-room, the classes be- 
ing in various parts of the room. We think that an 
unfortunate arrangement, and great pains are taken 
in our institutions to avoid it. I do not know one 
where that arrangement exists. It is thought that 
separate class-rooms should be made use of for sep- 
arate classes, so that the teacher of one class should 
not be interfered with by the operations of other 
classes. Under this head of interior organization I 
may say a word with regard to religious instruction. 

There are a few institutions (I think limited to the 
State of New York) which are of a denominational 
character, which receive aid from the State. That is 
not the usual rule in the United States. The general 
rule is that religious instruction of a very simple and 
undenominational character shall be given, the pupils 
being taught the general principles of religion, and re- 
ligious services — prayers and other services — being 
conducted by instructors who may be members of 
different denominations. So that it is the policy of 
American institutions to give religious instruction, 
but to give it in a careful, guarded, undenomina- 
tional manner, allowing, of course, free access to the 
institution to religious teachers who may be desired 
by the parents of the pupils to be present and give 
instruction from time to time to the pupils. 

13.128. Is religious instruction given in all the 
ordinary schools ? — It is the rule to give religious 
instruction to a very slight extent, hardly more than 
the reading of the Bible and a prayer, and in some 
schools not even that is given. It depends on the 
action of the local school boards. 

13.129. Do the day-schools come under the same 
category ? — I think most of them have a brief re- 
ligious service ; they would come under the same 
rule as an ordinary day-school. 

13.130. Can you tell us what the private schools 
are, whether they are on the combined system, the 
oral system, or the manual system? — Of the private 
schools, 11 in number, five are oral schools, three 
are combined, one is experimental, and in two the 
method is not given. The number of pupils in those 
schools is, altogether, only 165. 

13.131. For all practical purposes the private 
schools are not worth considering ? — Hardly. 

13.132. Now, will you tell us something with re- 
gard to the methods of instruction, the duration of 
pupilage, and the courses of study ? — A very brief 
reference is probably necessary to the early work of 
the schools for deaf-mutes in America. The method 
introduced 70 years ago in our first schools was the 
manual method. The decision to adopt the manual 
method grew out of two considerations ; one was 
that the founder of deaf-mute education in America 
received his instruction as to teaching from the 
Abbe Sicard, in Paris, who at that time, in the year 
1816, was practising mainly the manual method ; he 
taught articulation, but not to any large number of 
pupils or to any great extent. Then it was thought 
by those who established the first institutions in 
America that, in view of the fact that the public 
purse, aided by private benevolence, would provide, 
perhaps, only for a term of instruction of four years, 
or at the utmost five years, the manual method 
would probably produce results of greater value to 
the pupils than if the other method, the oral 
method, were pursued, and for those two reasons 
the manual method was made use of in the institu- 
tions of America at the beginning, and for many 
years. In 1860, however, the question of teaching 
deaf-mutes to speak was brought forward quite 
prominently in America in several directions, and 
not very long after, about 1867, oral schools were 
established on a small scale in New York and North- 

13.133. Was the oral method introduced from 
Germany ? — The suggestion that it should be intro- 
duced originated, I think, mainly in a report made 
by Horace Mann, who visited the German schools 
some years before that, and reported very favorably 
with reference to the oral method. The accepted 
term of pupilage by that time had increased, and it 
was possible to secure the assistance of the State, 
and to make use of funds from private sources, so 
as to continue the term of pupilage to seven and 
eight, and sometimes even nine or 10 years, and 
it was felt that it was desirable to teach speech to 
deaf-mutes : in fact, there were those who urged 
that that method should take precedence of the 
other. The older institutions, at least one of them, 
the one in Washington, in 1867 sent a representa- 
tive to Europe to make an examination Of the 
schools for deaf-mutes in the various countries of 
Europe, and to ascertain the results of the differ- 
ent methods. The result of this examination was 
a report which recommended very strongly the in- 
troduction of the teaching of articulation in all 
schools for the deaf. These distinctive oral schools, 
which were established in the first instance at New 
York, and Northampton in Massachusetts, about 
the same time, 1867, went forward in their work in 
a manner that won the approval of the teachers of 
the older schools, and in 1868 a conference of prin- 
cipals was held at Washington, representing quite 
a large number of old schools for the deaf in Amer- 
ica, at which conference a decided approval was ex- 
pressed of the recommendations of the report made 
at the instance of the institution at Washington in 
1867, that the teaching of articulation should be in- 
troduced into all the schools for deaf-mutes in Amer- 
ica. The introduction of that method was gradual ; 
it was not possible to secure immediately the ac- 
tion of boards of direction favorable to that change, 
but from year to year more of the old schools 
have adopted the method of teaching to speak, 
and so now the method of teaching speech may be 
said to prevail in all the prominent institutions of 

13.134. Are you speaking of the combined sys- 
tem or of the purely oral system ! — I am speaking 
of teaching speech. I do not mean to say that 
these schools have become what mav be termed 


pure oral schools, for we conceive that the term 
" pure oral " really does not convey a correct im- 
pression. To say that a school is a pure oral school 
is to say what is almost an impossibility. 

13.135. You mean signs will be used? — Signs 
will be used. It is not practicable to banish them 
any further than from actual use in the school 
room, which may be done with difficulty, but signs 
will be made use of at certain stages of the instruc- 
tion, more or less, to assist in reaching the end de- 
sired. The number of schools where speech is 
taught is now 50 out of the 67. Only 14 remain 
on the purely manual method; of those some are 
known to be making arrangements to introduce the 
teaching of speech, and will probably do so within 
a short time. 

13.136. You have told us that there are 34 State 
schools * — Yes ; and then there are the 14 corporate 

13.137. Making together 48?— The 48 would be 
called public schools, not counting the day-schools. 

13.138. "Will all those have either the combined 
system or the purely oral system ? — Out of those 48 
schools the oral method is more or less practised 
in 36 schools. 

13.139. The majority of the leading schools 
adopt the pure oral system, or the combined sys- 
tem? — A very large majority are carrying on the 
combined system. That means that in a large ma- 
jority of the public schools speech is taught to as 
great a number of pupils as it is found possible to 
teach with success ; that is the policy in these com- 
bined-system schools. That would lead me to ask 
permission to read the resolutions passed at the 
Convention in California this last summer, which I 
conceive to be of very great importance, and they 
will be seen to cover very broad ground with refer- 
ence to this conflict of methods, as it is frequently 
termed, which has existed for many years, but 
which now may be said to have come practically to 
an end. A report of this Convention is published 
in the " International Record of Charities and Cor- 
rection," a periodical not devoted specially to the 
interests of the deaf and dumb, but covering many 
subjects of an allied character. Before I read the 
resolution I will read what a writer in that period- 
ical says in speaking of the Convention : " The 
" proceedings were marked by an unusual degree 
" of harmony. The conflict of theories and methods 
" which has occupied so much of the time and at- 
" tention of previous conventions was almost wholly 
" absent. It was unanimously agreed that, like 
" other people, the deaf differ widely in their men- 
" tal and physical conditions, and, therefore, meth- 
" ods of instruction differing as widely are necessary 
" for the highest development of the class. * * * 
" The war between the two prominent systems of 
" instruction — the ' manual ' and the ' oral ' — which 
" has been carried on so vigorously for many years, 
" may be said to be practically ended, not through 
" the victory of one side or the other, but through 
" the better understanding of each other's methods 
" and results. Discussions between men actuated 
" only by philanthropic purposes, and upon matters 
" in which selfish interest does not enter, lead to 
" cordial recognition of whatever strength there 
" may exist in each other's position, and the yield- 
" ing of untenable points, until they find themselves 
" occupying common ground. Such has been the 
" outcome of the long controversy upon the oral 
" versus the manual method. The method of the 
" future is the 'combined' or 'American' method, 
" in which the best features of both systems are in- 
" corporated. This method is outlined in papers 
" read at the Berkeley Convention by Dr. G. O. Fay, 
" of Hartford, and Professor A. L. E. Crouter, of 
" Philadelphia, and covered by resolutions intro- 
" duced by Dr. E. M. Gallaudet, of Washington, 
" and adopted without a dissenting voice." 

13.140. You endorse all that is said there? — Yes. r>r. E. M. 
I commend the resolutions which I am about to read Gallaudet. 

to this Commission as a representation of the ablest 

and most recent thought on the subject ; the reso- 9 Nov. 188 6. 
lutions being the outcome of papers read by gentle- 
men who are both highly educated men ; one of 

them, Dr. Fay, who was at the head of the Ohio In- 
stitution for many years, and who is now at Hart- 
ford, and the other, Professor Crouter, who is at 
the head of the Philadelphia Institution. In Phila- 
delphia the oral school exists quite separate from 
the manual portion of the institution. The action 
of the Convention is stated as follows, and I will 
remind the Commission that representatives from 
the so-called oral schools, or, as they are termed in 
England, pure oral schools, of Northampton, New 
York, Pennsylvania, and Portland, Maine, were 
present at this Convention, and gave their votes 
for this action. I speak of that as a matter of very 
great importance, because it was really a burying of 
the hatchet. 

13.141. The resolutions were passed by a unan- 
imous vote ? — By a unanimous vote ; I introduced 
the resolutions, and they were seconded by the 
most prominent professor in the Institution for the 
Improved Instruction of the Deaf at New York, 
which is our pure oral school par excellence. The 
resolutions which were unanimously adopted were 
as follows : " Whereas the experience of many years 
" in the instruction of the deaf has plainly shown 
" that among the members of this class of persons 
" great differences exist in mental and physical con- 
" dition, and in capacity for improvement, making 
" results easily possible in certain cases which are 
" practically and sometimes actually unattainable in 
" others, these differences suggesting very widely 
" different treatment with different individuals ; it 
" is, therefore, resolved, that the system of instruc- 
" tion existing at present in America commends it- 
" self to the world, for the reason that its tendency 
" is to include all known methods and expedients 
" which have been found to be of value in the edu- 
" cation of the deaf, while it allows diversity and in- 
" dependence of action, working at the same time 
" harmoniously, and aiming at the attainment of an 
"object common to all. Resolved, That earnest 
" and persistent endeavors should be made in every 
" school for the deaf to teach every pupil to speak 
" and read from the lips, and that such effort should 
" only be abandoned when it is plainly evident that 
" the measure of success attainable is so small as not 
" to justify the necessary amount of labor." I think 
it will be evident to the Commission that these reso- 
lutions approve an effort in the direction of oral 
teaching which may be said to be absolutely going 
to the extreme ; that is to say, that if practice proves 
that all can be taught to speak, then manualists 
would be very glad to have that result reached. I 
call attention to the fact that those who had schools 
in which the manual method alone was used voted 
for this resolution, that in all schools all the children 
ought to be taught to speak who can be taught to 
speak ; and it is with a very great degree of satis- 
faction that I present this result to the Commission, 
for we conceive that we have arrived in America at 
a conclusion with regard to this long vexed question 
of methods, a conclusion which approves of every 
effort being made in the direction of the oral method, 
the importance of which we admit. When I say 
" we " I speak as representing perhaps those who 
favor the combined system, and I would draw a dis- 
tinction between the words " method " and " system." 
In America we apply the term " method " to the oral 
mode of instruction of the deaf, to the manual mode, 
and to -another method of which I have not yet 
spoken, but to which I shall allude presently. We 
call those " methods " of instructing the deaf, and the 
" system " of which we speak in America as the "com- 
bined system " is one which allows of the bringing 
together of all " methods * under varying conditions. 



Dr. B. M. 


9 Nov. 1886. 

For example, the Philadelphia Institution has a sepa- 
rate oral branch in which pupils who are found to 
succeed well in speech are taught on what would be 
termed here in England the pure oral method. 
This which was started as a manual school is now 
conducted under what is called the combined sys- 
tem. The same institution has in its larger estab- 
lishment classes which are taught entirely without 
the use of signs or the manual alphabet ; and, again, 
there are classes which are taught by means of the 
use of the manual alphabet and signs, finding that 
there are a certain number of pupils who will not 
succeed with speech. . And on that point I may, per- 
haps, be allowed to say a word with a good deal of 
earnestness. Those of us who started in our work 
in America as manual teachers do claim, and we ask 
that the claim be recognized, that it is possible for 
us to take a disinterested view of the oral method 
and judge of its results with unprejudiced minds. 
We have watched the progress of the oral mode of 
teaching the deaf, both in our own country and in 
foreign countries, and we do not hesitate to say that 
where the attempt is made on the part of a certain 
locality, a province or State, to carry on a school for 
the instruction of the deaf, there will be a very large 
number of pupils who under the most favorable cir- 
cumstances will not attain to a degree of success in 
speech and lip-reading which would warrant the time 
and labor and money that is necessary to carry on a 
school on what is termed the pure oral method. I 
was in Paris a few days ago, and I was told that the 
expense per capita of the pupils in the institution 
there is, without counting the cost of plant, 1,500 
francs, equal to 300 dollars, or 60/., which is very 
much larger than the average cost of educating the 
deaf and dumb in our country. The number of 
teachers they employ is very much greater, and the 
expense is very much larger ; and we who have had 
long experience in this matter of the education of the 
deaf have come to the conclusion that there is too 
large a proportion of the whole number of pupils 
that do not succeed in speech to make it right to con- 
tinue that method for all. 

13.142. As you have mentioned Paris, do you 
know at what age the oral system is begun to be . 
taught in the schools in France ? — I think at about 
eight years of age. 

13.143. I think not till 10 ? — I was not aware of 

13.144. Is it your experience in America, that in 
order to teach language well you ought to begin to 
teach it at the age of six or seven ? — Our experience 
is, that if we are to teach language well we should 
begin at about the age of seven. My own opinion 
is, that we should not begin to teach deaf and dumb 
children language at a younger age than seven. 
Some advocate beginning at four or five. 

13.145. You would treat deaf and dumb children 
the same as you would other children, as far as pos- 
sible ? — Yes. 

13.146. Has it ever struck you that if you delay 
the teaching of the oral system beyond a certain age 
the vocal chords will get stiff, and that there will be 
a want of flexibility about them which will prevent 
a proper development of the voice ? — I should say 
that to defer it beyond the age of 12, 13, or 14, in 
boys especially, would be very unfortunate. 

13.147. Many of their pupils in Paris are older ? — 
Yes. A third method which we are now practising 
in America with some exceedingly interesting results 
may be spoken of as the aural or auricular method. 
A very considerable percentage of those who are 
classed in the community as deaf-mutes have a de- 
gree of hearing which makes it entirely possible that 
they may be educated through the ear. The per- 
centage is put variously at from 12 to 25 per cent., 
which even at the lowest figure is a large percentage 
of the whole number. The first movement in refer- 
ence to the aural teaching of the deaf was made in 

Nebraska four years ago, and it was found in that 
institution that the percentage was quite large of 
those who were capable of being taught by the ear. 
I saw in that institution a little more than two years 
ago a class which was being taught entirely upon 
this method, and the process of teaching was an ex- 
ceedingly interesting one. The class consisted, per- 
haps, of 11 or 12 pupils. There had been a careful 
examination of the amount of hearing possessed by 
each of these pupils, and that pupil who heard the 
least was placed at the teacher's right hand, the one 
who had a little more hearing was placed next, and 
the one who had a little more further on, while the 
one who had the greatest amount of hearing was 
furthest removed from the teacher. The teacher 
then in a voice elevated above the ordinary tone was 
able to dictate to those pupils, and they had all of 
them been actually taught to use that hearing which 
they possessed, which prior to the instruction was 
not supposed to have been sufficient to be made 
available at all as a means of instruction. In other 
words, those pupils were gradually ceasing to be 
deaf-mutes ; they were speaking very well, and they 
were hearing as well as persons whom we call hard- 
of-hearing persons. The result would be that, hav- 
ing come to the school under the legal appellation 
of "deaf-mutes," they would go out of the school 
not deaf-mutes at all. 

13.148. How is that result attained ? — The proc- 
ess I can describe a little more fully by reference 
to the result of a very interesting experiment which 
we tried in the primary school connected with our 
college at Washington. In that primary school we 
try a good many experiments, and we do what we 
can to develop various methods- The children come 
in at the age of seven, and they continue in the 
school for eight or nine years. We had a boy who 
entered before we began to teach articulation. He 
was accredited to us as a deaf-mute from one year of 
age. He lost his hearing in infancy before he learnt 
to speak ; he was absolutely dumb, and the degree 
of hearing that he possessed was not supposed to be 
of any account at all. He was registered as hear- 
ing slightly very loud noises. Not long after he 
entered we began teaching him speech, and he 
was taught to articulate. His progress was. only 
moderate ; his success was so imperfect that after 
a year's effort it was almost decided to give up at- 
tempting to teach him any further, but his teacher 
discovered, purely accidentally, that in uttering a 
word when the boy's face was turned away from him 
the boy reproduced the sound. With the use of the 
hearing tube it was presently discovered that the 
boy could repeat the vowel sounds and many of the 
consonant sounds without difficulty; he could re- 
peat words the meaning of which he did not in the 
least degree understand. The teacher then at once 
began to educate his hearing. This degree of hear- 
ing which the boy possessed had never been enough 
for him to hold any conversation with members of 
his family or with any person at an ordinary dis- 
tance from him. 

13.149. Was the speaking tube that was used an 
ordinary speaking tube? — Yes, a flexible speaking 
tube. Within two years after that time I exhibited 
this boy before the National Academy of Sciences 
at Washington, and talked with him through the 
tube without difficulty, and to day he has advanced 
far enough to be a student in our college ; he is a 
young man full of promise, and he hears well enough 
to be able to sit by the side of either of you gentle- 
men and carry on a conversation with you through 
the tube. 

13.150. The fact is that his power of hearing had 
been overlooked?— Just so. 

13.151. There was no extra mechanism in the 
tube ? — No. The result in that case shows that a 
very small amount of hearing, untrained to be use- 
ful, has existed in hundreds of deaf persons who 


have gone on through life dumb and hard of hear- 
ing, and classed as deaf, whereas they might, under 
this aural or auricular method of instruction, have 
been taken entirely out of the category of deaf- 

13.152. Is there any medical inspection of these 
children before they enter school, and is any at- 
tempt made by the doctors to improve the hearing 
if the passages have become clogged by cold or 
disease ? — Yes, in all our better schools there is a 
careful medical inspection of the children as they 
enter ; it is usually the case that all means have 
been exhausted to benefit the hearing by the par- 
ents and friends of the children before they are 
brought to the institution. An examination by the 
medical man exhibits that fact. There are a few 
instauces where the hearing by medical treatment 
has been improved, but they are very few. I com- 
mend this auricular method to all who are interested 
in the education of the deaf as one deserving of very 
great attention, because, if we take the number of 
the deaf who are capable of being taught aurally as 
amounting to 10 per cent, only, it is conferring 
upon them a great boon to teach them aurally ; it is 
a greater boon even than giving them the power of 
imperfect speech. 

13.153. With regard to the facility of giving and 
receiving instruction in such a case as that to which 
you have just referred, can the boy take his place 
with the others in the class, or does he require the 
teacher's individual attention? — In the class at 
Nebraska, of which I have just been speaking, I 
think the boys hear when the teacher's voice is 
raised to a certain timbre. When the teacher ele- 
vates his voice to a certain pitch they have no diffi- 
culty in hearing him. 

13.154. Would the teacher use the tube ? — Yes, at 
times, but she was able to make the pupils in her 
class hear without the use of the speaking tube ; 
they were so arranged that the one that beard the 
least was placed nearest to her, and the one who 
had a little more hearing was placed next, and 
so on. 

13.155. No mechanical contrivance is made use of 
for increasing the volume of sound ? — Mr. Edison, 
who is himself very deaf, told me a few years ago 
that he was working very hard to bring out some 
appliance by which the volume of sound might be 
so increased that a deaf person might hear with 
great ease. 

13.156. Has Professor Bell taken that question 
up ? — To a certain extent, I think. 

13.157. Is Professor Bell an advocate of the aural 
method ? — Yes, as well as the oral method. Every 
one who has heard of the results of the aural 
method is in favor of it wherever subjects are 
found that are adapted for it. 

13.158. I see it stated that in some of these schools 
where the sign-system prevailed, or used to prevail 
principally, there was a great lack of knowledge of the 
English language ; was that so, or is it so still? — It 
is a fact that in many schools for the deaf certain 
pupils even after a number of years' teaching, are lack- 
ing in the ability to use language idiomatically ; the 
number of such pupils is not found to be greater in 
manual schools than in oral schools. It goes without 
saying that there are manual schools and manual 
schools, and that there are oral schools and oral 
schools ; there will come into the management of 
schools of any class carelessness in the appoint- 
ment of teachers, or there may be incompetent 
teachers appointed through the absence of sufficient 
funds to secure competent teachers ; and so, un- 
doubtedly, in manual schools there may be found 
pupils who will not succeed well in the idiomatic 
use of language who might have succeeded better 
if they had had better teaching. But it is also true 
that, under the best teaching, in the oral method as 
well as in the manual method, there will be found 

a certain number of deaf-mutes who seem to lack jjf. E. M. 
the ability to attain to an absolutely idiomatic use Qallaudet. 

of language. That, I think, is a fact that cannot be 

disputed, that under the best auspices and the best 9 Nov. 188 6. 
teaching, with the full period of instruction, there 
will be found pupils whose mental capacity seems 
to be lacking in some respects, and who will never 
be able to attain an idiomatic use of their vernac- 

13.159. Would not the use of the manual system, 
that is to say, finger-language, as against the sign- 
system, tend to a more accurate knowledge of lan- 
guage ? — I do not know what you call the sign- 

13.160. In some of the schools in our country we 
have seen children taught entirely by signs, without 
any finger-language ? — I know of no school in Amer- 
ica where any sign-system is exclusively used. 

13.161. But are signs used as an assistance to 
teaching ? — Yes, as an assistance to manual spelling 
and writing. The use of signs is resorted to for 
the purpose of explanation, but in none of our 
schools are the children exclusively taught by any 
such system. 

13.162. The use of the sign and manual system 
does not lead to an accurate knowledge of language, 
does it ? — I can answer that question very readily 
by making this statement : that it is admitted, 
without question, that an injudicious and incompe- 
tent teacher may make such an improper and inor- 
dinate use of gestures in the work of teaching in 
the class-room as to militate very strongly against 
the best success on the part of the pupils in the 
attainment of idiomatic language. That, I might 
say, goes without saying, and. that in some of the 
manual schools such teachers have been found is 
too true. It may be said, on the other hand, that 
in manual schools where thoroughly competent and 
judicious teachers are employed the use of signs is 
not only found to be no impediment in the acquisi- 
tion of the power of using language idiomatically, 
but is found to be a great help in reaching that end ; 
so that the whole question would turn on whether 
the use of gestures was one that was subject to 
criticism on general grounds, as being injudicious 
and undesirable, or whether a proper use was made 
of gestures by the teacher. 

13.163. Do you think that under the oral system 
there is the same difficulty as to a limited vocabu- 
lary as in the manual system ? — I do. I think there 
is the same difficulty. 

13.164. Deaf-mutes under both systems are able 
to make use of only a limited vocabulary ? — Natur- 
ally. Very little reflection will show us that a hear- 
ing person is compelled, whether he will or no, to 
hear an amount of verbal language on all occasions, 
that is simply out of all proportion to anything that 
can possibly be conveyed to one who is deaf, even 
under the most favorable circumstances ; so that 
the vocabulary of a hearing person is necessarily 
much larger than that of a deaf person. The vo- 
cabulary of a deaf person could not possibly be 
equal to that of a hearing person until after a very 
long period of education. 

13.165. I have before me a report of the proceed- 
ings of a meeting held in July, 1884, in the Senate 
Chamber, Madison, Wisconsin, in which you say : — 
" I urge most earnestly that those persons that re- 
" ject the manual alphabet, and who reject signs 
" for the deaf, while they are giving them speech 
" and lip-reading, are doing them a cruel wrong, in 
" this : that they are dooming them to a greater 
" social isolation than they are compelled to submit 
" to who have no speech, but who still use the man- 
ual alphabet and signs " ? — In my memorandum of 
the topics upon which, perhaps, you might desire 
me to give evidence, I have made a note of that 
very point, the comparative social isolation of per- 
sons who are taught on the oral method, and who 



Dr. E. M. are taught to reject the use of signs and the manual 

Oalkmdet. alphabet, comparing persons so taught with others 

who have the use of signs and the manual alphabet ; 

9 Not. 188 6. an) j f rom a considerably extended experience of 
persons who have been taught in both ways, I do 
not hesitate to express the opinion, that one who 
has been taught orally, and who does not use the 
manual alphabet in his family or among his circle 
of friends, is far more isolated in society than one 
who has not the power of speech, but who uses 
freely the manual alphabet and the language of 
signs. I speak from an experience that extends 
over the period of my whole conscious life, begin- 
ning in my infancy with my mother (who was a 
mute, who never heard and who never spoke, with 
whom I communicated freely by signs from the ear- 
liest days of my infancy, and with whom I learnt to 
communicate before I learnt the use of my voice), 
and extending over all the years of my life, mingling 
as I have in my earlier years with deaf people who 
had not the power of speech, and in later years with 
people who had the power of speech which they had 
gained from having been instructed in oral schools, 
or under private tutelage, where a single person has 
had the advantage of the instruction of many teach- 
ers ; and I could mention the names of many per- 
sons (which I forbear to do) whose intelligence and 
education were of the highest order, but who have 
persistently rejected the use of the manual alphabet 
and signs and only used speech, who could make 
themselves understood to their friends pretty freely, 
and to strangers with greater or less freedom and 
facility, but whose social isolation I am certain has 
been greater than that of others, whom I could also 
name, who have not had the power of speech, but 
who have had the use of the finger-alphabet, and 
who could use signs in holding communication with 
those who understand signs ; and the emphasis of 
the opinion which I want to express lies just in this : 
speech made use of by a person who is totally deaf, 
and who depends on lip-reading for his answers 
from others, is at the best a means of communica- 
tion which is often unsatisfactory, involving many 
repetitions, involving much guessing, involving fre- 
quent misunderstanding, involving a feeling of dis- 
like on the part of the person conversing with the 
deaf-mute to repeat so many times what he wants 
to convey to the deaf-mute, and a doubt in his mind 
whether he has been understood, this leading to an 
embarrassment in communication which frequently 
results, in a greater or less degree, in the social iso- 
lation of the person so -depending on speech and 
lip-reading for communication with the outer world. 
I could give the names of persons whom I know in 
the highest society in America, who are more or less 
socially isolated on account of the acknowledged and 
admitted difficulty on many occasions, and under 
many circumstances, of making the means of com- 
munication of speech and lip-reading available ex- 
actly and quickly, and without very much repeti- 
tion. I know many persons in America who are ac- 
quainted with these educated deaf persons, and who 
say to me, " I dread to meet so-and-so, for I am ex- 
" pected to speak, and that person is expected to un- 
" derstand my lip-movements. It is not always that 
" my lip-movements are understood, and it is not al- 
" ways that I can understand his speech." That is 
the feeling which many people have who meet such 
a person in society, and, therefore, the deaf person 
is let alone and but little conversation is attempted 
because it is carried on with such difficulty. I my- 
self have sometimes at dinner parties sat by the 
side of a highly educated deaf person who has 
been educated on the oral system and who rejects 
the use of the finger-alphabet and signs, and I 
have spoken with him more or less on a limited 
range of topics and carried on a conversation that 
was agreeable so far as it went, but I have found it 
impossible to branch off on a totally different sub- 

ject as with an ordinary person. I have felt that I 
would give anything if I could speak with my fingers 
with that person for five minutes. On the other 
hand, a person who depends on the finger-alphabet 
entirely, and who has not the power of oral speech 
or the power to read lip movements, if he has the 
power of forming friendships, will have a circle of 
friends who will acquire, for his sake, the finger- 
alphabet, and with the use of the finger-alphabet 
conversation can be sustained as fluently, as readily, 
and as perfectly as if he had speech. In other 
words, a deaf person, who has the finger-alphabet 
as a means of communication, will have in his own 
family those who will learn to use it freely and 
fluently for his sake, and he has a circle of friends 
who will also acquire the finger-alphabet so as to be 
able to carry on a conversation with him easily, and 
his social isolation will be less absolute than the 
social isolation of a person who depends entirely 
upon speech and lip-reading, and rejects the use of 
the manual alphabet. I speak from experience of a 
very great number of both classes of persons. 

13.166. At the meeting at Madison, I see Dr. Bell 
quotes you as having said this: "I see, running 
" through it all " (that is to say, the paper which 
had been read), " the fact, which I am very glad to 
" have acknowledged here so plainly in this Con- 
" vention, and which we have all to look in the face, 
" that the deaf and dumb in our institutions, as a 
" class, do not master the English language." Then 
Dr. Bell again quotes you as saying: "If we want 
" the children of our institutions for the deaf and 
" dumb to master the English language, what have 
" we to do with the sign-language * I answer, 
" As little as possible. " As I understand, you say 
an over-use of the sign-system is a dangerous 
thing 1 — Yes. 

13.167. Is it the tendency in schools on the com- 
bined system in America, and in schools where the 
manual alphabet is taught, to depend more on the 
manual alphabet than on signs in order to get a 
more accurate knowledge of the English language ? 
— Yes, the tendency in the American schools is to 
a diminishing use of the language of signs. At 
Indianapolis, where I made that statement which 
was quoted by Dr. Bell, at Madison, the subject of 
the use of signs in class-rooms was under discussion. 
At that time, 16 years ago, there were in many of 
our schools in America teachers who were very care- 
less, reckless, and unjustifiable in their use of gest- 
ures, and the result was a very unsatisfactory de- 
velopment of the power of idiomatic expression ; so 
at the discussion at Indianapolis I said that I felt 
that there was such a thing as a very pernicious and 
dangerous use of the sign-language in the instruc- 
tion of the deaf. 

13.168. When you speak of the sign-language, 
you mean gestures — conventional signs ? — Yes. 

13.169. Those signs vary in different countries 
and in different schools ? — Yes ; in different coun- 
tries, and, to a certain extent, in different schools. 
I raised my voice at Indianapolis to warn teachers 
against making too great a use of sign-language, 
and insisted that in the instruction of the deaf the 
language of signs should be used as little as pos- 

13.170. You say that that meeting at Indianapolis 
was 16 years ago ? — Yes. 

13.171. Therefore, what you said then does not 
accurately represent the danger to which schools 
are liable now ? — No ; we were fighting against cer- 
tain evils then existing in schools. With regard to 
the comparative social isolation which results from 
oral teaching, I may refer to an incident which oc- 
curred this last summer. One of the professors of 
our college at Washington was spending some time 
in New England, and he himself being a great bicy- 
clist attended a meeting of bicyclists at a town called 



Brattleboro'. He noticed at that meeting a young 
man of very prepossessing appearance with a bicycle, 
who had come to attend the meeting, and he ob- 
served that he spoke on his fingers to some one near 
him. This professor speaks very well, and has al- 
ways spoken, but he lost his hearing at ten years 
of age. He noticed this young man speaking on 
his fingers, and he naturally sought to make his 
acquaintance, he himself being a deaf man. He 
found that the young man was well educated, that 
he used his fingers very freely, and that he used 
even the language of signs ; and he found to his 
surprise that he had been wholly educated at a pure 
oral school. He was the son of wealthy parents, 
and had been a long time at school, and completed 
his education there, and he spoke very well and read 
from the lips very well ; but he told this professor 
of our college at Washington that, while among his 
intimate friends, he always spoke and read from the 
lips, and did so very well in a certain limited range 
of subjects, yet he found that in general society he 
got on more satisfactorily and pleasantly by using 
the manual alphabet ; and therefore he adopted the 
use of it, and his friends learnt it for his sake. He 
being a person who had never been in a manual 
school or a sign-school, still found it was necessary 
for him to learn to converse with his fingers, in 
order to avoid a certain degree of social isolation to 
which he would have been subjected if he had con- 
fined himself to the oral method. Then I will refer 
to the case of a Wisconsin lady who became deaf 
at the age of 18, and who became an exceedingly 
good lip-reader. She called at my house with a 
lady friend of my wife's, and we were made ac- 
quainted and entered into conversation. She read, 
my lips very readily, and we talked together for a 
little time, and I marvelled at her success in carry- 
ing on the conversation. Presently she said, "I 
" did not understand that last sentence ; will you 
" spell it on your fingers ? " ; so I spelt it on my 
fingers. I said, "How is it that you resort to 
"speaking by your fingers?" She replied, "Do 
" you think I would be so foolish as to reject a 
" means of communication which is absolutely cer- 
" tain and reliable for one which I often find myself ' 
" blundering in ? Whenever my speech and lip- 
" reading fails I like to resort to my fingers ; that 
" is sure and certain while the other is doubtful." 
Then, again, I have the acquaintance of a gentle- 
man in Philadelphia who became deaf after he had 
grown up, who is a very good lithographer, and he 
told me not a great while ago that, while he could 
speak, and read lip-movements, and often passed as 
a person who heard, yet invariably, when he en- 
tered into any business contract, he resorted to writ- 
ing; he did not dare to depend on the power of 
lip-reading, because in carrying on conversation by 
that means there was a liability to mistakes. I re- 
fer to these cases simply to show that while people 
advocate this teaching of speech and lip-reading, 
we know (to use a commercial phrase) there is a 
discount to be allowed upon it. 

13,172. You said that the age at which children 
should be sent to school was seven years ; should 
they be taught writing before they go to school ? — 
Most of our institutions in their circulars recom- 
mend to the parents and friends of deaf children 
where they are able to do so to teach them writing 
at home ; to teach them the use of simple words. 
I do not think the majority come to the institutions 
having been so taught ; that is urged, but I think 
the majority of them do not come to the institutions 
with any knowledge at all. I should here like to 
refer the Commission to a very careful comparison 
of results of teaching by the oral method and the 
combined system, which was made in the oldest 
school in America, Hartford, by its principal in the 
case of more than 30 pupils who came to that insti- 
tution from the oral schools in New England after 

having been in those schools a longer or shorter Dr. E. M. 
time. The paper to which I refer in which that Qallaudet. 

comparison was made was presented at the confer- 

ence of principals held in Minnesota two years ago, 9 Nov. 188 6. 

and is found in the record of the proceedings of 

that conference, pages 182-196, 197, which I will 

leave with the Commission. The paper gives the 

results arrived at from a careful examination of 

those pupils, running over a period of eight or nine 

years. The results are tabulated, and a comparison 

of the results due to oral teaching and manual 

teaching, or teaching by the combined system, is 

given which is not found, I think, elsewhere. 

13.173. Will you now favor the Commission with 
any observations that you have to make with refer- 
ence to the duration of pupilage and the courses of 
study ?— With reference to the duration of pupilage 
and courses of study, in our institutions in America 
we endeavor to have a course of study practically 
the same as that which is pursued in the schools 
for the hearing. We take up the elementary study 
of geography, arithmetic, and history, and some 
little study of physics, perhaps, and occasionally 
some study of physiology, which we deem of im- 
portance even in the case of those who go through 
a limited course of teaching ; and in nearly all, I 
may say all, the larger institutions in America, quite 
an important feature is made of instruction in art. 
We develop as far as possible the power of drawing, 
and instruction is given in the branches of art of 
painting and sculpture. Wood carving has come 
into great prominence in the last few years, and 
many institutions are establishing departments for 
instruction in the art, carrying it forward to a very 
high degree of development. I may speak partic- 
ularly of the institution at Illinois, which is the 
largest in America, where they have a department 
of art with a teacher at the head, and four or five 
assistants, who devote themselves entirely to the 
instruction of the pupils of the institution in art. 

13.174. Do they turn out many artists ? — A large 
number, and an increasingly large number. They 
turn out artists of various degrees of talent, but an 
artist who is able to work in decorative art, design- 
ing, and things of that kind may be very successful, 
though he may not be able to paint landscapes or 

13.175. Do you know Mr. Moore? — Yes, I know 
him very well. He is one who was never taught to 
speak. He has not been orally taught. He was 
taught under the manual method. 

13.176. Are you aware that he is able to get sev- 
eral hundred pounds for his pictures ? — Yes ; he set 
a very good example by patient and long study for 
a number of years before he began to sell any pict- 

13.177. {Mr. Woodail.) Is what is aimed at to 
make picture-makers ? — No, it is general instruction 
in art that is given. We do not encourage the 
pupils to be portrait painters or landscape painters. 
In many cases in our large cities in which these 
deaf persons who have been instructed in art come 
into competition with others they have done ex- 
tremely well. 

13.178. {Chairman.) The instruction they re- 
ceive in art enables some of them to become 
draughtsmen for engineers and architects, and so 
on ? — Yes. In making drawings for woodcuts for 
illustrated papers many of the pupils have succeeded 
extremely well. 

13.179. {Mr. Woodail.) Is anything done in the 
way of kindergarten teaching with a view to leading 
up to their industrial art teaching. In your pri- 
mary school which you spoke of at Washington 
have you any kindergarten teaching ? — We have not 
in the primary school at Washington, but in several 
of the schools there are departments for kinder- 
garten work, and at our convention in California 



Br. E. M. considerable prominence was given to the matter of 
Gallavdet. kindergarten instruction for the deaf, and I know 

one or two, perhaps three, institutions in America 

9 Not. 188 6. in which there are seperate departments for kinder- 
garten instruction, where the children who are put 
under the instruction which is given in that depart- 
ment are very young, and are kept quite separate 
from the older ones. 

13.180. Do you recognize any useful relationship 
between the kindergarten teaching and the subse- 
quent teaching in art ? — I should say the one would 
naturally be a good preparation for the other. 

13.181. {Chairman.) With regard to industrial 
training, have the boys any industrial training given 
them while at school, or does it begin after the 
education pure and simple is finished ? — There are 
some schools in America into whose curriculum in- 
dustrial training does not enter ; they depend en- 
tirely upon the apprenticeship of their pupils after 
they leave the school to mechanics with whom they 
may learn trades, and so be prepared to become 
mechanics ; but that is the practice of a small num- 
ber of schools comparatively; by far the greater 
number have a larger or smaller number of shops 
in which trades are taught. In the whole number 
of our schools in the United States only 14 have 
no industrial department, and eight of these 14 are 
day schools, so that there are only six of those in- 
stitutions which would be called public institutions 
in America which have no industrial departments ; 
those that have an industrial department and those 
that have not are named in the table in the Annals 
to which I have referred. The feeling is decided 
among the managers of our institutions in favor of 
teaching trades while the pupils are in school. As 
to the amount of time that is given to industrial 
training, in some of the institutions, there is a di- 
vision of the day between the forenoon and the af- 
ternoon, the boys being in the shops during one- 
half of the day and in school the other half ; and 
in other institutions the school hours are prolonged 
during a part of the afternoon for two or three 
hours, as the case may be, and industrial work given 
at a later time in the day ; but as to the result of 
this training I can certainly say that a vast number 
of very competent mechanics have been turned out 
of these industrial departments of our institutions. 

13.182. At what age are they turned out ? — Vary- 
ing from 16 to 20. 

13.183. Do they keep them as long as that? — If 
they enter at 10 years of age they may remain 10 
years in some of our schools. 

13.184. You spoke of seven years as being the 
age at which they commence school ? — When they 
commence school at the age of 10 they would be 
retained to the age of 16 or 17 ; the time of their 
being discharged would vary from the age of 14 or 
15 to 20, but if the children were discharged at the 
age of 13 or 14 they would hardly be old enough to 
learn a trade while in school. 

13.185. What is the age at which you begin to 
give them industrial training ; how long after they 
have been at school? — It would depend on the age 
at which they entered. 

13.186. Would you begin their industrial training 
at 12, 13, or 14, according to the age at which they 
entered ? — It would again depend on the physical 
condition of the boys; some at 12 years of age 
would be quite as capable of beginning to learn a 
trade as others at 14. 

13.187. What is the industrial work that is 
taught ? — I have here a list of the trades taught ; 
baking, basket making, bookbinding, broom making, 
cabinet making, carpentry, chair making, cooking, 
clay modelling, coopery, dressmaking, farming, gar- 
dening, glazing, knitting, mattress-making, painting, 
printing, sewing, shoemaking, tailoring, wood carv- 
ing, wood engraving, and wood turning. 

13.188. Those are taught at different schools ? — 
Yes, not all at the same school ; here is one school, 
the New York Institution, where, besides art, bak- 
ing, cabinet-making, carpentering, clay modelling, 
and dressmaking are taught ; then in another, the 
Pennsylvania School, cooking, dressmaking, knitting, 
printing, shoemaking, and tailoring are taught. In 
Kentucky five trades are taught, in Ohio four, in 
Virgiuia six, in Indiana three, in Tennessee two, in 
North Carolina ten, in Illinois ten, in Georgia only 
one, and in South Carolina three ; the number of 
trades taught varies. 

13.189. Do the pupils assist in the ordinary house 
work of the institution ? — To a very considerable 
extent. I may say that one of the reasons that in- 
duces us in America to be very earnest in teaching 
these boys trades, while they are in the school, is 
that the difficulty of apprenticing them after they 
leave school is very great, owing to the existence of 
very close trades unions in our country, under whose 
regulations the number of apprentices is limited. 

13.190. Do they keep out the deaf and dumb from 
any prejudice against them* — They keep them out 
as they would any one they did not wish to admit. 
They are not excluded simply because they are deaf, 
but still there would be those who would rather 
turn the cold shoulder to them because they were. 
We conceive it to be of great importance to give 
them this manual training even though they may 
not follow, after leaving the institution, the trade 
that they have been taught. We conceive it to be 
an important point, because dexterity in one trade, 
the training of the hand and the eye in the use of 
tools, prepares the boy for success in, perhaps, sev- 

. eral different directions, and in point of fact, we 
find that there is that success. The institution for 
the improved instruction of the deaf and dumb in 
New York city favors very much the limitation of 
industries taught to the deaf and dumb to those of 
a higher character ; that is, those in which the ele- 
ment of art may come to a greater or less extent. 
The authorities of that institution believe that it is 
well to endeavor to get the deaf to take up wood 
carving and lithography, and industries of that sort, 
rather than to relegate the deaf to carpentry, and 
shoemaking, and such trades ; but that feeling does 
not prevail throughout the country. It is felt in a 
large number of institutions throughout the coun- 
try that ordinary industries are as valuable to the 
deaf and dumb as those that may be said to be more 
refined. They succeed extremely well as gardeners. 
I could mention one colored boy who seemed to 
possess very little intellectual power ; we thought 
him at one time almost an imbecile, but he developed 
afterwards considerably, and lately he has become a 
competent gardener. 

13.191. Are colored boys taught in the same 
classes with the others ? — In our primary school in 
which we have 60 pupils, eight or nine are blacks. 

13.192. Are they taught in a class by them- 
selves?— No, they are mixed with the others in the 
classes ; in the sleeping apartments and at the table 
they are separated in deference to the caste preju- 
dice, which still continues in our country to a cer- 
tain extent, but in the classes they come together ; 
the day-schools have no shops. I ought to say that 
in America we do not consider day-schools as capa- 
ble of finishing the entire education necessary for 
the deaf, and we consider them rather as an expedi- 
ent, better than nothing, as being schools into which 
the younger children can come, and where they can 
remain, perhaps, one, or two, or three years, but 
from which they ought to go to the boarding schools 
to reach the best results. The sentiment in Amer- 
ica is against the extension of* day-schools, and in 
favor very much of bringing the deaf together in 
boarding schools. 

13.193. You said that some of these day-schools 
are conducted on the oral method ? — Yes. 



13.194. Would there not be more difficulty in 
teaching by oral method in a day-school than in an 
institution, looking to the probability that if a child 
goes back to its parents and friends it would neces- 
sarily make use of signs before it could make itself 
understood 1 — My own opinion is that the child in 
going home to its parents would, perhaps, get a 
practice in speech which would be a benefit to it. 

13.195. Do you think that generally in America 
parents endeavor to assist the instruction of their 
children in the oral system ? — Where they are in day- 
schools, and they go home to their parents, 1 think 
they do, and when they go home from boarding 
schools, I think the parents and friends in the vast 
majority of cases take pains to keep up the speech 
of their children. We find often when they return 
from their holidays that their speech is improved. 

13.196. It depends on the parents taking an in- 
telligent interest in their children ? — Very much. 

13.197. Are any objections felt in America to col- 
lecting together the deaf and dumb in institutions 
in view of the probability that friendships will be 
formed resulting in intermarriage in after-life? — 
There may possibly be such objections, but we be- 
lieve they are so far counterbalanced by the advan- 
tages to be gained in having the deaf in schools 
where they may be taught as such and receive the 
benefit of special training, that we think that the 
best way of treating those possible objections is to 
make the pupils, as they advance in intelligence, 
feel the importance of avoiding such marriages. 
Later on, I will go into that rather more fully. 

13.198. Is there any separation of the sexes at 
school after the age of 13 or 14, or are they kept 
together? — They are separated altogether, excepting 
in the class-room ; they come together in the class- 
room ; in many institutions, where there are a suffi- 
cient number to classify the boys and girls sepa- 
rately, they have separate classes, but there are 
institutions where, as a matter of preference, in the 
dining-room, the boys and the girls are seated to- 
gether at tables ; and it is claimed by those who 
keep up that practice, that the effect is good — that 
the boys are improved in manner by association with 
the girls, and that the girls are in no way injured by 
being thus ' associated with the boys in a sort of 
little family ; but universally, in all matters of do- 
mestic arrangement, the dormitories, the sitting- 
rooms, and the play-grounds, the girls and boys are 
carefully separated. 

13.199. Do the deaf and dumb find any difficulty 
in getting employment as soon as they leave 
school ? — They do not find any great difficulty in 
securing employment ; they secure employment with 
considerable facility, and the number of unemployed 
deaf in America would be found to be very small. 

13.200. There is no prejudice against the employ- 
ment of the deaf and dumb ? — No general prejudice. 
There may be found individual masters who would 
not like to employ deaf persons, but generally 
speaking, there is no prejudice against them. 

13.201. Will you give us the substance of what 
you wish to say about the sign-system, as distin- 
guished from the manual, as bearing upon the an- 
swer which you gave to me on the quotation which 
I made from a former speech of yours, made 16 
years ago, at Indianapolis ? — In answer to the ques- 
tion, I beg leave to present two quotations. The 
first is from a paper of Dr. Fay, presented at the 
Convention in California this last summer, on the 
general subject of the education and care of the 
deaf. He speaks here with reference to the two 
methods often spoken of as the French and the 
German, or the manual and the oral, and makes 
some important comparisons, which I will read, as 
they bear very much on one or two of the answers 
given under that head. Dr. Fay says : " Errors of 
" proportion have divided the educators of the deaf 

into schools of opinion, not exactly hostile, but Dr. E. M. 
certainly separate and narrow. The schools of Gallaiutet. 

France, for a century, and subsequently the schools 

of the United States, while theoretically favorable 9 Nov. 188 6. 
to the teaching of articulation, have demonstrated, 
only and mainly, through long practice, the im- 
portance and possibilities of pantomime and the 
uses of the manual alphabet, supplemented by 
written speech. They have applied these instru- 
ments with great skill and energy, and have pro- 
duced a remarkable body of silent scholars easily 
superior in scholarship to anything that oralists 
have been able to produce. French and American 
schools, true to their traditions, have been back- 
ward, however, in taking up and applying, with 
equal skill and energy, the teaching of oral speech, 
Might not a fraction of their silent, written scholar- 
ship have been well exchanged for a degree of oral 
skill ? Such seems to be their own present convic- 
tion. We are now witnessing the introduction of 
the systematic teaching of articulation into all the 
prominent institutions of Europe and America. 
And the pursuance of this policy has exhibited the 
fact that the development of the faculties and the 
acquisition of verbal speech by pantomime, by fin- 
ger-spelling, and by books, are an excellent pre- 
liminary training, the full peer of all rival expe- 
dients, for teaching associated and subsequent 
oral speech itself. The pupil has something to 
say, and can be more easily taught to say it. The 
present need of our historic schools is to expand 
their scope still more widely, so as to include and 
attach to themselves all that is valuable in oral 
schools. If a longer school period shall be found 
necessary for the best results, it should not, will 
not, be withheld. Another school of opinion, 
represented by the schools of Germany for a cen- 
tury, and by a few recently opened in the United 
States, ignores the pantomime of the deaf and uses 
none. It omits the finger-alphabet and proposes 
to teach the deaf at the start, and with no inter- 
mediate step, oral speech itself, and by it all 
branches of desirable knowledge. Though op- 
posed to the use of extempore sign-pictures, it 
uses all printed pictures freely. It omits evidently 
and rejects such illustrations as the pupil is likely 
to imitate and to incorporate into signs of his own. 
It is communicating instruction with great and in- 
creasing skill, and to a proportion of pupils stead- 
ily enlarging. The partially deaf, and those who 
have heard in early years, succeed from the start. 
An additional number, some of them totally deaf 
from birth, succeed to a certain extent, practically 
useful. A large number do not acquire it sufficiently 
to be able to rely upon it, singularly evanescent, 
in after-life. At school they habitually invent and 
illicitly use a gesture-language for social relief, 
and feel more confidence in their pencil than in 
their voice. The time spent in oral teaching has 
crowded out some topics taught in the sign-schools. 
The range of written scholarship, including En- 
glish composition and the ability to read newspa- 
pers, is considerably lower. This deficiency is jus- 
tified by those who are responsible for it by the 
compensating value of the oral speech acquired 
or attempted. These schools have yet to learn 
that, in omitting the use of pantomime and finger- 
spelling, they ignore the uneducated mute's best 
friend. They take away a ladder, the only ladder 
known, by which all the deaf can easily rise. They 
require the mute, scorning all climbing steps and 
gradual approaches, to clear at one bound the 
chasm that separates the deaf from the hearing. 
They force the recruit at once upon frowning 
breastworks. They apply a method derived from 
the functions of the hearing mind, and not at all 
from the essential, the universal functions of the 
mind of the deaf. Attempting the best thing for 
all the deaf by a method heroic, they succeed with 
a smaller number, less than half, and, holding no 



Dr. E. M. " middle ground substantially, culpably fail with a 
OalUmdet. " considerable number. The brilliancy of the op- 

" eration is clouded by its frequently fatal issue. 

9 Nov. 188 6. » These schools, excellent, ambitious, and ably offi- 
" cered, need, in behalf of many of their pupils, to 
" incorporate into the early years of their course all 
" t that is valuable in the sign-schools. The removal 
" of intervening barriers will make the two jarring 
" methods friends — astonished to remember that 
" they ever differed. Pantomime and finger-spell- 
" ing, as jealously excluded now from oral schools 
" as the ' long keels of the northmen,' will prove a 
" boon, a help, and not a hindrance, to all their pu- 
" pils. They will all easily rise, and rapidly, to the 
" plane of written speech ; and those capable of tak- 
" ing the higher step, the last, the crowning oral 
" one, will not be the less able for having a broader 
" elementary base." I present that as the expres- 
sion of what I conceive to be the best thought of 
the present day in America relative to what is spoken 
of as the combined system. It gives everything to 
the oral teaching that it can accomplish, and it still 
holds on to much that belongs to what may now be 
termed the old manual method, which exists no 
longer as the only method of teaching the deaf, but 
which still, the writer conceives (and there are a 
large majority who sustain his view), should not be 
given up. 

13,202. Might I ask what was the view taken with 
regard to the aural system at that California con- 
vention ; how far was it considered to be practicable 
in a sufficient number of cases ? — It would vary in 
different localities, from 10 to 20 per cent, of the 
whole number of deaf-mutes. Coming now to the 
other citation pertinent to the matter, to what ex- 
tent signs are valuable in the instruction of the deaf, 
and in the life of the deaf, I would read this short 
paragraph from an article published in a handbook 
of medical science, on the general subject of gesture 
language, which I was asked to prepare with a view 
of giving information to medical men with regard to 
the treatment of the deaf : "At this point the ques- 
" tion will naturally arise in many minds : 'Does the 
" ' sign-language give the deaf in these respects all 
" ' that speech affords to the hearing ? ' The expe- 
" rience and observation of the writer leads him to 
" answer the question with a decided affirmative. 
" On many occasions it has been his privilege to in- 
" terpret, through signs to the deaf, addresses given 
" in speech ; he has addressed assemblages of deaf 
" persons many times, using signs for the original 
" expression of thought ; he has seen hundreds of 
" lectures and public debates given originally in 
" signs ; he has seen conventions of deaf-mutes, in 
" which no word was spoken, and yet all the forms 
" of parliamentary proceeding were observed, and 
" the most excited and earnest discussions carried 
" on ; he has seen the ordinances of religion admin- 
" istered, and the full services of the church carried 
" on in signs ; and all this with the assurance grow- 
" ing out of his own complete understanding of the 
" language, a knowledge of which dates back to his 
" earliest childhood, that for all the purposes above 
" enumerated, gestural expression is in no respect 
" inferior, and is in many respects superior, to ar- 
" ticulate speech as a means of communicating ideas. 
" But the greatest value of the sign-language to the 
" deaf, when the whole period of their lives is taken 
" into account, is to be found in the facility it affords 
" for free and unconstrained social intercourse. And 
" in this, as in the matter of public addresses, noth- 
" ing has been discovered that can fully take its 
" place. It may even be asserted, that so long as 
" the deaf remain without hearing, nothing else can 
" give them what speech affords their more favored 
" brethren. They may have much pleasant inter- 
" course with others by the employment of writing 
" tablets ; they may even enjoy conversation under 
" many limitations with single individuals through 

" articulation and lip-reading ; with the aid of the 
" manual alphabet they may have a still wider and 
" more enjoyable range for the interchange of 
" thought ; but it is only by employing signs that 
" they can gain the pleasure and profit that comes 
" from conversation in the social circle, that they 
" can enjoy such freedom of intercommunication as 
" shall make it possible for them to forget they are 
" deaf." 

13.203. Does not the language of signs convey 
sometimes a slightly different idea to different 
people ; for instance, take it in this way : Supposing 
a sermon was preached in signs, would every mem- 
ber of the congregation write the sermon down in 
exactly the same language ? — No, not at all. 

13.204. Then, clearly, there is room for a great 
latitude and variety of language? — That the ideas 
would be expressed clearly and distinctly is as proba- 
ble even as that the ideas would be so expressed in a 
case where a congregation heard a sermon preached 

13.205. I do not see how that is reconciled with 
what you said 16 years ago ; that the effect of signs 
tends to make the language inaccurate or obscure ?— 
I was speaking then distinctly of the use of signs in 
teaching, which I deprecate in the class-room ; but 
for purposes of lecturing, for purposes of public 
addresses, for purposes of social intercommunica- 
tion, I insist that the language of signs is of such 
value, and the source of so much enjoyment and 
pleasure in the intercourse of the deaf, that it is 
cruel to take it away from them. 

13.206. But I thought that from the passage you 
read out, you proved more than that ; that you 
proved that everybody who has speech should use 
signs, because it is the more expressive of the two, 
as the Italian does ? — I think there are circumstances 
where the language of signs is more expressive than 
that of speech. I often find myself better able to 
express certain ideas through the means of the gest- 
ural language than through the means of speech. 

13.207. (Mr. Johnson.) Tou wrote that passage 
for the guidance of the medical profession, I under- 
stand ? — Yes, this is one article in their handbook, 
intended to guide them in the treatment of these 

13.208. (Chairman.) Going on to the higher edu- 
cation of the deaf, would you in the higher education 
of the deaf give all the lectures by signs rather than 
by the manual alphabet ? — My preference would be 
to use the language of signs in most lectures ; there 
might be some very much of a technical character, 
and in which scientific terms would be largely used, 
where the manual alphabet would be preferable. 

13.209. You would not give lectures in Mathe- 
matics or Logic by signs, would you ? — To a con- 
siderable extent ; but in the use of the gesture lan- 
guage the interjection of words spelt upon the fin- 
gers is very common. 

13.210. The mixture of the two would be neces- 
sary? — Quite necessary. 

13.211. In order to give precision in certain cases ? 
— Yes. You ask me, with regard to the higher edu- 
cation of the deaf, to speak somewhat to that point ; 
and I will, therefore, with your permission, make a 
statement as to the establishment of the college at 
Washington in which the higher education of the 
deaf is provided for ; and I have brought with me 
a few copies of a map which represents the grounds 
and buildings of the institution, which the Commis- 
sion might be interested to look at, so as to get an 
idea of the extent and the arrangement of the 
grounds and buildings, that is, of the institution, 
including both the primary school and the college ; 
they are quite distinct in their organization. This 
map shows the grounds and the arrangement of the 
buildings. I am sure it would be of a little interest 



in connection with the higher education of the deaf, 
to know how it came about that the Government of 
the United States became committed to the support 
of such a work ; for it is probably well known, even 
in this country, that, constitutionally, the Govern- 
ment of the United States would not be at liberty 
to appropriate the money of the country at large 
for the support of an ordinary educational institu- 
tion ; in fact, that point in the progress of the re- 
lations of the college with the Congress at Washing- 
ton has been often raised. The institution at Wash- 
ington was begun in 1857 as a primary school. One 
of the clauses in the Act of Incorporation gave no 
limit, in providing for the period during which chil- 
dren should be received and educated, as to the 
time which they could be retained in the institu- 
tion. They were simply to be received and retained 
there while they were of teachable age. That sim- 
ple omission to place any limit on the course of in- 
struction, suggested to those who had charge of 
the institution in its early years, that the course of 
instruction might be extended so as to cover the 
secondary or collegiate course. So in 1864, after 
the primary school had existed for seven years, it 
was suggested to the Board of Directors by the then 
superintendent of the institution, that the course of 
instruction should be extended to include collegiate 
training. The Board of Directors accepted the sug- 
gestion. Congress was asked to pass an additional 
act authorizing the institution to confer collegiate 
degrees. This act was passed before the Collegiate 
Department was organized, and in 1864 the simple 
pressing forward of a few of the more capable pupils 
of the school into collegiate study formed the nucleus 
of what became later the National College. Con- 
gress made an appropriation for enlarging the 
grounds at that time, and later for additions to build- 
ings, but no appropriation whatever for the main- 
tenance of students in the college who were unable 
to pay their expenses. Private charity was appealed 
to successfully to secure annual contributions for 
support of young men in the college who were unable 
to pay their own expenses. At a certain point, a 
little later, I think it was in 1866, 1 (if I may be al- 
lowed to speak in the first person, for I was then 
President of the college) received a letter from the 
Honoi-able Thaddeus Stevens, who was then the 
leader of the House of Representatives, in that posi- 
tion on account of his being at the head of the Com- 
mittee on Appropriations, saying that in his district 
there was a young man who wished to come to the 
college at Washington, who was deaf, had never 
been in a school for the deaf, but had become deaf, 
who was poor but very intelligent, and asking me 
if he could be admitted without charge. I replied 
that he could not, and I called upon Mr. Stevens to 
explain the reasons why he could not. He grew, 
very much excited (he had previously been a friend 
of the institution, and the means of securing appro- 
priations for it) and asked why his constituent could 
not be received without charge. I replied, that there 
was no law for it ; and in very emphatic language, 
which I need not repeat, he declared that there 
should be a law for it ; and in a very few weeks he 
succeeded in passing through Congress a law for 
the admission of a certain number of young men 
from the States and Territories on a free basis ; and 
that formed the beginning of our authority from 
Congress to receive young men into the college 
from the States and Territories, giving them board 
and tuition without charge when their circumstances 
were such as to make it impossible for them or their 
friends to meet the expense of paying. 

13,212. And did the State vote the sum of money 
requisite for the purpose? — Not the State. The 
Federal Government gave those annual appropria- 
tions, increasing from year to year, and sufficient 
to cover the increased expenses owing to the recep- 
tion of these young men, the majority of whom are 

in circumstances which make it impossible for them 
to pay. 

13.213. But do not the State Governments also 
pay? — They contribute nothing. 

13.214. But with regard to those in the primary 
school, do not the State Governments pay so much? 
— In the primary school at Washington the majority 
of the pupils are from the District of Columbia, and 
so they are paid for by the United-States Govern- 
ment, as we have no local government in Washington. 

13.215. Are you quoting this college as a model 
for the rest of the United States, or is that the only 
one? — It is the only one, and the only one that is 
at present needed ; that is to say, it is able to fur- 
nish the secondary or collegiate education for all 
the deaf that are fit to take that course of study ; 
so that we can say no other is needed at present in 
our country. We quote that as something very de- 
sirable to have, if possible, in other countries. 

13.216. As I understand it, all the education of 
the deaf and dumb is practically free in cases where 
the poverty of the parent requires it ? — It is so. 

13.217. Free ; being borne either by the State or 
by the Federal Government ? — Yes ; so that even 
through the college the education of the deaf is prac- 
tically free. 

13.218. All education is free in America? — All 
primary education, but not all collegiate education. 
The deaf have an advantage there over the hearing. 

13.219. {Mr. Woodall.) These pupils in Wash- 
ington are received from all parts of the country ? 
— Yes. 

13.220. {Chairman.) Are they maintained there 
free? — It would not inolude, for instance, their 

13.221. And in the holidays they go home at their 
own expense ? — Yes. 

13.222. They have their college-training free ? — 

13.223. And their board and lodging free ? — Yes. 

13.224. {Mr. Woodall.) There is no system like 
what prevails in France ? — No. We had" what are 
called scholarships given by private individuals. 
These private individuals paid for certain students 
at the college an annual sum which was equivalent 
to the charge which we made to ordinary students 
for board and tuition ; but those terminated and 
have hot been renewed, and now the entire help of 
students needing help comes from the general fund 
appropriated by the Congress of the United States. 

13.225. {Mr. Johnson.) There are certain people 
who do pay ? — Yes. 

13.226. It is only those who are unable to pay 
who claim a free education from the State? — Yes, 
those who are able to pay are expected to do so. 

13.227. {Chairman.) Practically, what propor- 
tions pay ? — Only about 5 per cent, pay their ex- 
penses ; and it ought to be said in connection with 
that, that the distances in our country from Wash- 
ington are so great to all the outlying States, that 
even though the circumstances of a deaf young man 
may be tolerably comfortable he has to pay in com- 
ing and going such a large cost for transportation, 
besides going home during the holidays and expenses 
in connection with that, that we assist young men 
who are not in a condition that we should call one 
of absolute poverty, but whose means are strait- 
ened and are not sufficient to enable them to pay 
their expenses ; but they all provide their travelling 
expenses, their clothing and books, and what may 
be called their incidental expenses. 

13.228. {Mr. Woodall.) What assistance do you 
give them ? — We make them no charge for board or 
tuition. In no case do we assume the actual sup- 
port in an eleemosynary sense of any of these young 
men who are following their higher education. I 

Dr. E. M. 


9 Nov. 1886. 



Dr. E. M. may say that we have been asked to do so by the 
Oallaudet. managers of institutions in different parts of the 

country, and I have steadily refused, and have been 

9 Not. 188 6. sustained by the directors in refusing to adopt any 
course which seemed to make the collegiate educa- 
tion of the deaf an absolute eleemosynary act. I 
claim that the deaf young man who is not able by 
his own energies or by the assistance of friends to 
clothe himself and pay his way to Washington and 
back had better not have the higher education. 

13.229. (Chairman.) Is this institution full, and 
what number does it contain ? — In the primary school 

• it contains 65 at present, and in the college 50. We 
have room for probably 25 or 30 more in our build- 

13.230. What proportion of those in the primary 
school go up to the higher education? — A very small 
proportion, hardly one a year from our primary school. 
Before leaving the subject of the Governmental sup- 
port of the institution, I would say that at present 
the annual appropriation for the support of the in- 
stitution in all its branches by Congress is a little 
over 10,000/., which makes, it will be seen at once, 
a very large per capita for the number of pupils and 
students, say 120, that would be taught during any 
given year. This large expense grows out of the 
necessity of paying large salaries to the professors 
in our college. One of the professors in our college, 
the one who is most highly paid, receives a salary 
of 3,000 dollars, or 600/., and a house ; and two others 
receive a salary of 2,400 dollars, or 480/., and a house. 
The others receive rather smaller salaries, but these 
large salaries which it is necessary to pay men of 
sufficient ability to teach in the college carry the^er 
capita cost up to the high point that it is. 

13.231. What is that point 1 — It is quite 100/. a 

13.232. That does not take into calculation the 
interest on the capital sum that has been spent on 
buildings and on land ? — No. 

13.233. (Dr. Campbell.) What is about the pro- 
portion in tbe primary department, and what in the 
collegiate ? — The primary department is quite a dif- 
ferent thing. 

13.234. (Chairman.) Do you separate the ex- 
penses ? — I have not done so in my calculation. 
This sum of 10,000/. covers the entire institution in 
both departments. 

13.235. But of course there must be very much 
greater expense in educating the higher department, 
than in educating the primary department ? — Tes. 

13.236. It means therefore practically that the ex- 
pense of the higher classes is not only 100/. per head, 
but a great deal more ; because in that calculation 
of 100/. you are giving them credit for the lower sum 
per head that the primary school costs ? — Tes. But 
to compare the cost of the college with, for instance, 
the Government Schools at Annapolis and West 
Point for naval and military training, the expenses 
there run up to 1,000 and 1,500 dollars per capita per 
annum, and the expenses of young men securing a 
collegiate education in our colleges in America run 
up. to a much higher sum than it costs in our college. 
I should pass on to give an idea of the course of 
study pursued in the college at Washington, and 
then to speak of some of the practical results of the 
higher education of the deaf, what they can do in 
after-life, how they succeed, and what they accom- 
plish. I may state that the form of admission is 
given in the appendix to tbe report of the institu- 
tion. The course of study taken up at the college 
supplements that carried forward in the best and 
most advanced of our State schools, our primary 
schools. The applicant for admission to the college 
is supposed to have completed arithmetic, and to 
have completed primary studies of course, and comes 
in then to what is termed on page 27 of our report 
an introductory course of one year in a course of five 

years ; and in this first year of the five of the course, 
which is termed our collegiate course, algebra, the 
study of English grammar and history, and original 
compositions, and Latin are pursued. Latin is be- 
gun at the beginning of this year, the lowest year of 
the five in the collegiate course. Then in the fresh- 
man year we continue in mathematics, algebra, and 
take up geometry ; in English, original compositions ; 
in Latin, the study of Sallust and Cicero is carried 
on ; Greek is an optional study ; and the course of 
history is continued. Then in the next year, the 
sophomore year, mathematics go on to trigonome- 
try, mensuration, and surveying ; zoology is taken 
up, and botany and chemistry ; Latin is continued 
with Virgil's 2EneM; Greek is an optional study, 
and there is quite a course in English. The next 
year, the junior year, mathematics are continued to 
the calculus and mechanics ; physics are taken up ; 
in chemistry, laboratory practice and qualitative 
analysis ; and physiology. French is then taken up 
and continued during the year ; and history and 
English and logic are studied. In the next year, 
the senior year, in English literature quite an ex- 
tended course is pursued ; German is taken up and 
continued for the year ; natural science is taken up, 
and the elements of mental science ; moral science 
is taken up, aesthetics, political philosophy, and in- 
ternational law. That affords an idea of the course 
of study pursued in the college which is necessary 
to secure a degree, and examinations in those studies 
are made at the end of each three months, each se- 
mestre, and then a record is made of the marks ob- 
tained in the recitations and the examinations, and 
it is required that a certain standard should be 
reached (a standard of 6J on a scale of 10) in order 
to enable the student to pass. And I may say that 
we have had whole classes that have reached the end 
of the college course, the average of which has been 
above 9 on a scale of 10 in recitations and marks for 
the entire course. 

13.237. (Dr. Campbell.) In connection with the 
study of languages, it is always written, I suppose, 
never oral in any case ; take, for instance, French or 
German? — We do use speech in a good many cases, 
and speech is used as a means of communication in a 
great many cases where it is practicable. Of course 
we do receive students who have not power of speech, 
and with them the method of communica tion is mainly 
the manual alphabet. I may say that in the recita- 
tions and in the class-room the sign-language is very 
little employed, the students being taught by writ- 
ing and the manual alphabet. 

13.238. But do the deaf people learn to speak 
French or German ? — Not to any very great extent. 
Now, with regard to the admission of young men 
who may come to us for the purpose of pursuing 
special courses, although our full course is five years 
we may have young men who come to us and study 
for two or three years, and leave us with certifi- 
cates of honorable dismission, showing what studies 
they have pursued. These of course take no regular 
diploma, and go out with no degree, but a good 
many young men take in our college what is tanta- 
mount to a high-school course of study, such a 
course as will be beneficial to them in after-life, the 
particular course depending upon what pursuit they 
intend to take up. 

13.239. (Chairman.) I see that free admission is 
given also to those whose fathers are in the military 
or naval service ? — Yes : that is the law of Congress. 
We rarely have a case of that sort ; we have not had 
one for several years, but it is open to such, if such 
a case should occur. With regard to the admission 
of young men into this higher school at Washington, 
I am able to say that the whole country has been 
represented with the single exception of the Pacific 
States. The distance by which we are separated 
from the Pacific involving a very large cost of trans- 
portation, has prevented the representation of any of 



the Pacific States in our college ; but the South and 
the Middle States, and the West and the East, have 
been represented in a proportion almost exactly com- 
paring with the proportion of the population of those 
different sections ; and in this publication, which was 
printed three years ago, the number of students re- 
ceived, and even their names, and the States from 
which they came are given. So that running it over, 
it will be found that nearly every State, with the ex- 
ception of the Pacific States, has been represented 
in proportion to its population. And that has been 
an interesting fact to us, and one that has com- 
mended the college to the liberality of Congress, for 
it sees at once that since our system of general edu- 
cation is so extended it is possible for deaf boys to 
be found in all parts of the country sufficiently ad- 
vanced in their primary instruction to enable them to 
come into the higher school. I may mention that we 
have had two very estimable young men from the 
United Kingdom ; in fact, three. One young man 
came to us after a short residence in America in one 
of the primary schools, who was from Scotland. His 
father was a professor in one of the higher schools 
there, and this young man came to us and graduated, 
and is now a teacher in one of the western schools. 
Two other young men have come from Ireland. One 
after staying with us for three years developed 
Bright's disease, and died after returning home. He 
was a bright, intelligent young man. The other is 
with us now, and I will mention his name, Francis 
Maginn. His father is a clergyman of the Church 
of England, in Ireland, near Cork ; his uncle was 
the distinguished " doctor " of Frazer's Magazine, 
William Maginn, and his family is one that is well 
known in Ireland. He has been with us for two 
years, and is a very promising young man, sure I 
think to make his mark somewhere when he gets 
through his course of study. He is enthusiastic in 
his appreciation of his opportunities with us, and 
was extremely anxious that I should make it appear 
before the Commission that the higher education of 
the deaf was a practicable thing, and an important 
thing. He said he was feeling it in his own case, 
and that he expected to come back to Great Britain 
after two years more, and do something that would 
show that it was worth while for him to have had 
this higher education. 

13,240. Do any of these students go out into the 
liberal professions, law, medicine, or the Church ?— 
I will answer that by reading a brief paragraph. 
This was written three years ago : " Forty who 
" have gone out from the college have been engaged 
" in teaching ; three have become editors and pub- 
" lishers of newspapers ; three others have taken 
" positions connected with journalism ; 10 have en- 
" tered the civil service of the Government. One 
" of these, who had risen rapidly to a high and re- 
" sponsible position, lately resigned to enter upon 
" the practice of law in patent cases in Cincinnati ; 
" one, while filling a position as instructor in a 
" Western institution, has rendered important ser- 
" vice to the Coast Survey as a microscopist ; one 
" has become an accomplished draughtsman in the 
" office of a New York architect ; one has for several 
" years filled the position of recorder's clerk in a 
" large Western city ; two have taken places in the 
" faculty of their alma mater, and are rendering 
" valuable returns as instructors where they were 
" students but a short time since ; some have gone 
" into mercantile and other offices ; some have un- 
" dertaken business on their own account ; while 
" not a few have chosen agricultural and mechani- 
" cal pursuits, in which the advantages of thorough 
" mental training will give them a superiority over 
" those not so well educated. Of those alluded to 
" as having engaged in teaching, one has been the 
" principal of a flourishing institution in Pennsyl- 
" vania ; another of a day-school in Cincinnati, and 

" later of the Colorado Institution ; a third has Dr. E. M. 
" had charge of the Oregon Institution and a fourth Qallatidet. 

" is at the head of a day-school in St. Louis." And 

I would be glad to add to this enumeration a very 9 Nov. 188 6. 
interesting case which has come up since this pub- 
lication was issued of a young man, who came to us, 
who was entirely deaf from birth, and had never 
learnt to speak. He devoted himself to chemistry 
especially, while he was in college, though he pur- 
sued the full scientific course, and received a degree 
in science . He became after his graduation an assayer 
in a prominent smelting establishment in Chicago, 
and soon rose to take the chief position there. 
He has had submitted to him on many occasions 
disputes between other practical chemists in Chicago, 
his judgment being relied on as very good ; he has 
contributed to scientific publications several articles, 
some of which have been translated into German 
scientific publications ; and now quite recently he 
has been called to St. Louis, where he has been ap- 
pointed chief practical chemist to an immense sugar 
refinery. And when I say that this young man 
graduated from our college only four years ago, and 
is now only 28 years of age, I think you will agree 
with me that the deaf, with the higher training, may 
find their way into positions oi practical use, and be 
able to stand side by side with those who have all 
their faculties. I should add that this young man 
has not the advantage of speech ; he communicates 
entirely by writing or by the fingers. I merely 
speak of that to show that this practice of the oral 
method with the deaf is not essential to the highest 
success in the various pursuits which they take up. 
I may say that one or two of our young men have 
studied for the ministry, but none of our own 
graduates have been ordained. There have been 
three deaf men ordained to the ministry in America, 
and they are serving their own people very well in 
different parts of the country. 

13,241. Do any of your students become doctors ? 
— Doctors they do not try to be, because from their 
deafness they cannot make the necessary examina- 
tions of patients. I ought to speak in this connec- 
tion of a young man whose case interested me very 
much in the past summer. He is a farmer in 
Vermont. He spent two yews with us. He was 
a young fellow of great intelligence, but not of the 
highest scholarship, but while he was with us he 
knew that he was to be a farmer, his father having 
a farm which he was to inherit, and so he pursued 
his studies with the view to making himself an 
intelligent and scientific farmer. I was at his house 
in Vermont last summer, and I heard from his 
neighbors that he was absolutely the best farmer 
in the whole district ; that he made more money 
out of his farm than any other farmer ; that it was 
in better condition than any other ; that he knew 
more than any farmer in the whole neighborhood ; 
that he was able to read intelligently the best scien- 
tific papers that have a bearing upon farming ; and 
that his farm was a model of excellence. That 
would show that the higher instruction has its uses 
even with the deaf young men who go inljo farming. 
This young man also is one who has no power of 
speech. Of course instances could be added, but it 
goes without saying that our graduates have little 
difficulty in finding their way into positions which 
they would be utterly unable to take had they not 
had the higher training that is given in the college. 
I think that I ought to ask to be permitted to give 
a little specimen of the excellence of the literary 
work of the graduates of the college. Some of our 
graduates have even aspired to be poets, which 
might be a surprise. Here are a dozen lines which, 
if your Lordship would allow me, I should like to 
read, because they give a very interesting insight 
into the mental condition of one who has become 
deaf in childhood. These lines take the form of a 



Br. E. M. 


9 Nov. 1886. 

sonnet, which describes the condition of those who 
have become absolutely deaf, after having heard, per- 
haps, for a few years daring childhood : 

" They are like one who shuts his eyes to dream 

Of some bright vista in his fading post ; 

And suddenly the faces that were lost 
In long forgetfulness before him seem. 
Th' uplifted brow, the love-lit eye whose beam 

Could ever o'er his soul a radiance cast, 

Numberless charms that long ago have ask't 
The homage of his fresh young life's esteem : 

For sometimes, from the silence that they bear, 
Well up the tones that erst formed half their joys 

A strain of music floats to the dull ear, 
Or low, melodious murmur of a voice, 

Till all the chords of harmony vibrant are 
With consciousness of deeply slumb'ring pow'rs." 

I quote from an article on the poetry of the deaf 
which I contributed to the " Annals " three years 
ago, Vol. XXIX, p. 204. 

13.242. (Rev. W. B. Sleight.) How was he edu- 
cated ? — Upon the manual system. He received his 
college education with us. He was at the Hartford 
School previously. He was not a mute from birth, 
but became technically a deaf-mute, though retain- 
ing the power of speech, not having heard after his 
childhood, and all his education was carried on in 
schools for the deaf. 

13.243. (Mr. Johnson.) At what age did he be- 
come deaf? — At the age of 10. 

13.244. (Chairman.) Do the degrees which you 
give at your college bear comparison with those 
given in the universities of the country ? — They bear 
comparison with the other colleges of the country. 
An university degree is in advance of what we give, 
but the degree of Bachelor of Arts compares with 
the degrees given in the ordinary colleges of our 
country. With us the term college means an insti- 
tution which is not quite up to the standard of 
what you would term your full university course. 
We have universities in America which give this full 
course. quite equal to the universities here. 

13.245. I was rather asking the question with re- 
gard to the universities ? — There is just that dis- 
tinction which I have mentioned. 

13.246. I will ask you now about the condition of 
the deaf after they have left the ordinary schools of 
the country. You have told us, to a certain extent, 
with regard to their industrial training and the oc- 
cupations which are pursued ? — Yes, but I have not 
spoken as to how successful they are in after-life in 
any detail, or how they bear themselves in society 
in general. The 70th Report of the oldest institu- 
tion in the United States, that of Hartford, issued 
this same year, 1886, gives a very valuable account, 
which I will not attempt to read at all in detail, of 
a very large number of their graduates about whom 
they have taken pains to collect information ; and a 
glance at a list like this would show you the num- 
ber of occupations pursued by the graduates of this 
school. There are 50 or 60 different occupations, 
and there are observations with reference to the 
wages which they earn. 

13.247. Is it not a question with the deaf in the 
same way as it is with the blind? — It is not so 
serious with the deaf. 

13.248. You do not find any difficulty, probably, 
anymore than we do, in their getting employment? — 
No, no serious difficulty. This report might come 
in as an appendix to show the comparison of the 
wages they earn and what they do ; and the general 
statement can be made that the deaf, as a class, with 
education, are self-supporting. And I think it well, 
in connection with the statement, to call attention 
to this point which I have had occasion in one or 
two instances before Congressional Committees to 
lay some emphasis upon, and which is not generally 
appreciated ; that is to say, when the condition of 
the uneducated deaf, their dependent condition, the 
small amounts that they earn, the limited intelligence 

that they show in employments, and the cost of car- 
rying them through the ordinary course of an aver- 
age life, are taken on the one hand, and on the other 
the expense of educating the deaf in boarding schools 
at the public expense, paying for their sustenance 
as well as their education, then taking the period 
necessary to carry out this education, whether it be 
seven or eight years, when this calculation is entered 
into, it is found that the saving to the State in ac- 
tual pounds, shillings, and pence,- by educating them, 
is simply enormous. I will not stop to give figures. 
I have made the calculation, and I have presented 
it to the Congressional Committees ; and, as a gen- 
eral observation, I may say that while it is perfectly 
conceded that it is an additional expense to educate 
the deaf in boarding schools, it is not generally un- 
derstood that, even taking this addition into account, 
the saving to the State is enormous over what they 
would lose through the helpless and dependent con- 
dition in which the uneducated deaf are found dur- 
ing nearly the whole period of their lives. The 
question is often raised by those who have the levy- 
ing of rates and assessing taxes. They say that it 
costs so much more to board these children, and 
that it should be considered a matter of pure charity. 
But we do not so look at it in America. 

13.249. It is a matter of interest you would say ? — 
It is a matter of pure selfish interest that we take 
these deaf people out of the condition of ignorant 
dependence, and, by the expenditure of an amount 
of money easily calculated, we turn them over into 
the other side, the producers and self-supporters, 
and gainers of wealth to the community ; and the 
gain to the State is simply enormous by the change 
effected by education. And there is one other con- 
sideration in connection with that, which has had 
some prominence given to it in our own country. 
It has been urged, on the one hand, that the deaf 
could be educated in day-schools, and the expense 
of their education much diminished. On the other 
hand, it has been also urged that the parents of the 
deaf in the community have the right to their hav- 
ing the best education, and, if the best education 
can only be obtained in boarding schools, then it is 
right that they should have that education in board- 
ing schools, and that no parents, or few parents, 
would consider that the absence of a child from 
home in a boarding school was to be weighed as 
over and against the expense of supporting that 
child at home. Any parent would rather have the 
child at home than send him away for the sake of 
merely gaining the cost of his sustenance. So, all 
over our States, the doors of these schools have 
been opened to the children of the well-to-do, and 
even rich, as well as to those who are poor, and in 
some States it is considered absolutely a portion of 
the system of public education, and no statement 
of poverty or inability to pay is required, and that 
has become the tendency and practice in all parts of 
the country. 

13.250. That is associated with the general free 
education that prevails in America ? — Yes. 

13.251. One cannot understand that there should 
be any reason why the deaf and dumb should be 
excluded from that ? — Yes. The*disposition to as- 
sociate together in a clannish manner of the deaf 
after leaving school has been made the subject of 
considerable discussion in our country, and it has 
been urged that schools should be so organized, if 
possible, as to prevent this clannish association of 
the deaf in after-life, with a view to prevent too 
much intermarriage of the deaf, from the fear that 
intermarriage of the deaf might increase the amount 
of deafness in the community, that their children 
might be more apt to be deaf than other children. 

13.252. Have you any statistics to give us show- 
ing the effect of the intermarriage of the deaf? 

The statistics are far from being complete. Mr. 
Alexander Graham Bell, who, I believe, has been 



invited to give evidence before this Commission, has 
made, during the last two or three years, quite a 
study of the matter of the intermarriage of the 
deaf, and has presented to some of our scientific 
associations papers in relation to the possibility of 
the formation by intermarriage of a deaf variety of 
the human race. If Mr. Bell should appear before 
you, undoubtedly he would give you a great deal of 
information on that point. His studies, he admits, 
up to this time, are incomplete ; the data he has 
had at his command have not been sufficiently nu- 
merous to enable him to make a complete state- 
ment ; but it is a subject which engages the atten- 
tion of all teachers of the deaf, and they feel it to 
be important that deaf pupils going out of the in- 
stitutions should be perfectly aware as to wherein 
lie the dangers of intermarriage. And, in connec- 
tion with this, it may be interesting to say that 
while we have not facts and figures to make a com- 
plete statement, we have enough data to show very 
clearly that the mere fact of one who is totally deaf 
marrying another who is totally deaf, does not at all 
suggest that their children are likely to be deaf; 
for the reason that if the parties have both of them 
acquired deafness by accident, there is no greater 
likelihood that their children will be deaf than the 
children of other persons. 

13.253. You are not competent, perhaps, to speak 
on the question of deafness running in families ? — 
I can say that in America there is quite a body of 
statistics at hand with reference to certain families 
in which deafness seems to have run, and to have 
visited, in a considerable number, the members of 
these families, and it is certain that, wherever there 
is found, by the presence of more than one deaf 
person in a family, any evidence of a tendency to 
deafness, if a person belonging to that family, 
whether deaf or not, marries a person whether deaf 
or not belonging to another family in which deaf- 
ness has run, you find that the children are, in a 
large proportion of cases, liable to be deaf. It is 
not the fact of the deafness of the contracting par- 
ties ; but, if you find a family where there is evi- 
dence of a disposition to deafness, and members of 
that family marry into another family with a similar 
disposition to deafness, they are very apt to have 
deaf children ; so, these institutions for the deaf, 
which stand in loco parentis to the pupils, many of 
them, take great pains to advise the pupils to be 
very careful, and to exercise a caution which people 
often do not exercise in regard to marriage, and 
where they know there is a disposition to deafness 
in a family to avoid marrying any one belonging to 
that family. 

13.254. Are you aware whether the marriage of 
first cousins produces deafness 1 ? — It is a subject 
that has received a great deal of attention. 

13.255. Perhaps you would refer us to any statis- 
tics that are reliable on the subject, if there are 
any ? — I can refer rather to papers and discussions 
based upon the rather limited area of facts which 
bear upon the subject. 

13.256. We do not desire to go into the details 
now, but if there are statistics, perhaps you would 
kindly hand them in in your evidence ? — Yes. See 
Topical Index of the American Annals of the Deaf. 

13.257. The next point is, what education does 
the State require in the teachers of the deaf and 
dumb, and what are the qualifications for the teach- 
ers required by the State ? — I am sorry to say that 
we have not in America any normal school, or any 
examining board with reference to the qualifications 
of teachers before whom applicants for the position 
should go and prove their capacity. In each insti- 
tution it is a matter for the governing body of the 
institution itself to determine the qualifications of 
the teachers. The course pursued is usually this : 
To take into the institution a young person, male 
or female, who has a sufficient amount of education 


and ability to make it probable that he or she will 
succeed as a teacher of the deaf ; and then for the 
principal of the institution, with the assistance of 
the teachers who are already experienced, to train 
this young teacher in the art of teaching the deaf. 
And in this way a body of very capable and expe- 
rienced teachers has been raised up in America in 
the different schools. In some institutions there 
has been pressure to bring them down to small sal- 
aries, and that keeps out teachers of the greatest 
efficiency from these institutions. 

13.258. Does that system insure an uniformity of 
teaching in the schools, or would it not rather tend 
to produce uniformity of teaching in each particular 
school rather than throughout the whole of the 
schools? — I think that would be the tendency, 
although I think that in a country so large as ours, 
considering our political organization, and that local 
matters are quite independent of the Federal Gov- 
ernment, it would be impossible to establish through 
the Federal Government any general system of ex- 
amination. There has been a serious thought of 
establishing in connection with our college at Wash- 
ington a training school for teachers, and the estab- 
lishment of such a school would no doubt be at- 
tended with good results ; but that is still in the 

13.259. You have only the judgment and discre- 
tion of the governing body- to ensure that the 
teachers are good ones * — Yes, and yet it can be 
said that the practice has been in America to re- 
quire that the applicants for positions as teachers 
should be men and women of very high order of 
education. A very large proportion of our men 
teachers of the deaf are, what would be called in 
England, university men ; that is to say, graduates 
of colleges, men with high attainments ; and run- 
ning back for a series of years, we can point to 
many men who have gone out from institutions in 
which they have been teachers of the deaf, and 
taken positions of the highest eminence in literary 
and scientific pursuits. I could cite the names of 
several presidents of colleges who were teachers in 
institutions for the deaf ; and it is an interesting 
fact that both the candidates in the recent canvass 
for the highest position in our country, that of the 
President, Mr. Cleveland, and Mr. Blaine, began 
life as teachers of the blind. I mention this to show 
that men of a sort who might be expected to rise 
to high positions, are often found among the ranks 
of our teachers. 

13.260. Is not that the case in America generally; 
there is no separate profession, a man begins his 
life as one thing, and ends it as another ? — Yes. It 
ought to be said in connection with the employment 
of our teachers, a great object in the organization 
of our institutions is to secure permanency, and we 
pay salaries, for example, on which they can marry, 
and settle, and feel that the work of teaching the 
deaf is to be their life-work. That has an effect not 
only in the actual efficiency of the single and given 
institution, but also it has the tendency to establish, 
as it were, a profession in which it is possible to 
have an esprit de corps, and the opportunity for 
promotion. Teachers, for instance, look forward to 
the time when they may be principals, and they feel 
even if they are not, that they are to be well paid 
and enabled to live comfortably, and have their fam- 
ilies about them ; and so they consider that they are 
entering on a work which is to be their life-work ; 
and experience of course is very valuable from year 
to year. 

13.261. I think you stated that the principals in 
the ordinary State institutions were appointed by 
the President? — By the directing body that has 
been named by the Legislature. 

13.262. Not' by the President?— No. You under- 
stand that we have in our State constitutions a Gov- 
ernor and the members of the Legislature, and 

Dr. E. M. 

9 Noy. 1886. 



Br. E. M. 


9 Nov. 1886. 

those officers are supreme in their own State. The 
President has nothing to do with what may be 
termed State patronage, only with what may be 
termed Federal patronage. So that in these State 
institutions the principals and teachers would be 
appointed by a Board of Directors or Trustees who 
are constituted by the Act of the Legislature ; and 
when the complexion of the Legislature changes, 
for instance, from Bepublican to Democratic, or 
from Democratic to Bepublican, it often happens that 
the Board of Directors or Trustees changes also. 

13.263. The principals of these institutions are 
liable to being changed by these bodies for political 
reasons * — Yes ; and it has happened that when the 
existing law of the State was such that the removal 
could not be made of the principal of the institu- 
tion, the entire existing law has been repealed, and 
a new law enacted, to enable him to be removed. 
To such a pass are we come, I am sorry to say. I 
do not speak of it with anything but mortification. 
It is a most pernicious system, and the results have 
been painful. I have seen men put into the office 
of teacher who had absolutely no knowledge what- 
ever of teaching. The only qualification of one 
man put at the head of a large institution was that 
he was a very good dentist. 

13.264. What you have said about the teachers is 
subject therefore to these contingencies which may 
or may not be prejudicial to the education of the 
deaf and dumb ? — Yes. So that it is true that in 
many of these institutions governed by the State, 
the teachers are persons whose claim to be teachers 
is not a good claim ; but in the corporate schools, 
those whose management is in the hands of a per- 
manent board, the teachers are taken with great 

13.265. Are the teachers who are chosen with 
great care often sent out of other schools for the 
deaf, or do they often follow a career in the body in 
which they have been first brought up ? — They fre- 
quently change their place. If they are paid a cer- 
tain salary in one school, and have the offer of a 
much better one in another, and if it is for their 
advantage to make the change they make it. I have 
a single note under this head of teachers and their 
relations to the institutions, to say that we have no 
arrangements in America in our schools for the deaf 
for paying our teachers by results. In the educa- 
tion of the deaf it would, in my judgment, be almost 
impossible to judge of the teacher's efficiency by 
any scale which could be marked by results, for 
often a class of deaf children of secondary mental 
power may have been labored with by the teacher 
of the utmost devotion and earnestness, and yet the 
result in marks on any scale that might be applied 
to all deaf pupils would show comparatively but 
little progress. That very teacher might be the 
one who had worked harder than any other in the 
whole school. So that we have never made any 
attempt in America to pay our teachers by results, 
but simply to have that supervision over them by 
the principal in charge, which would make him sat- 
isfied that they are doing the best that can be done. 

13.266. I think you have told us, with reference 
to the conferences, that they have now been in 
practice for some years, and take place every four 
years ? — We have two bodies of instructors of the 
deaf meeting in America, one termed the conference 
of principals, which meets every four years, and the 
other the convention of instructors, including prin- 
cipals, which also meets every four years. These 
meetings alternate with each other, so that we have 
a meeting every two years, one year the conference 
of principals and the other the convention of in- 
structors ; and those meetings have been continued 
since 1851, with an interregnum during the time of 
our civil war, when, for a few years, they were sus- 
pended. I have brought with me, and I shall leave 
at the disposition of the Commission, a number of 

copies of the proceedings of different conventions 
and conferences that have been held, in which there 
is a great amount of material of great value bearing 
upon the work of instructing the deaf in America. 
And I cannot speak too favorably of these confer- 
ences and of the importance with which they are 
regarded in our work in America. They bring 
teachers together. For instance, at this last con- 
vention in California, half of the time of the con- 
vention was taken up in normal sections ; teachers 
of known capacity and experience were selected to 
take charge of certain subjects of instruction and 
to hold meetings of such teachers as were inter- 
ested in those particular branches of instruction. 
They interchanged methods and means of instruct- 
ing from one teacher to another, and so a normal 
school was carried on for a certain period that was 
productive of great benefit. And to these conven- 
tions the principals of the institutions are generally 
sent by the governing boards of the institutions and 
their travelling expenses paid ; and in some in- 
stances teachers are sent, and their travelling ex- 
penses paid. The conventions themselves and the 
conferences are usually held in some institution 
during the vacation, and the institution which invites 
them entertains the members of the convention dur- 
ing its period. For example, the California institu- 
tion, by a vote of the Legislature, expended about 
3,000 dollars in entertaining this convention that 
was held last July, continuing a little over a week. 

13.267. It comes out of the funds of the State, 
then ? — Yes, or of the institution ; but the travel- 
ling expenses of the members may be paid for each 
one by the institution which sends them ; but the 
institution which entertains the convention meets 
the expense of boarding it, and of publishing the 
proceedings. It is considered by the managers of 
our institutions that the presence of such a meet- 
ing, such a body of teachers of the deaf, is of value 
to the State where it is held in influencing public 
opinion, in increasing interest in the work of teach- 
ing the deaf, and in disseminating knowledge as to 
what it is ; and so institutions are found every two 
years that are quite willing to bear the expense of 
entertaining these conferences and conventions. 

13.268. Then it is rather through conferences 
such as these that you would get uniformity of 
teaching in America than in any other way ? — The 
tendency is very strongly not towards absolute uni- 
formity but harmony of action, which we feel is 
better than absolute uniformity. Different teachers 
have very different opinions as to the methods that 
come out in these conventions, and they find that 
those with whom they differ have a good many 
things that they are glad to learn ; and so there 
comes about a harmony of action and a good feel- 
ing among the different teachers in the deaf schools 
all over the country, that we think is very much 
better than absolute uniformity. 

13.269. Do these conferences generally end in the 
passing of certain resolutions ? — Very rarely. It is 
not sought to pass resolutions which should bind 
the sentiments or practice of the members of the 

13.270. Papers are read ?— And discussions had, 
and methods brought forward and their importance 
heard ; but the resolutions which I presented here 
were almost the only resolutions of that character. 
Of course there are complimentary* resolutions 
passed, but the practice of our conventions is not 
to attempt to bind the members to any particular 
course or particular method. The convention, as I 
mentioned a little while ago, has a standing ex- 
ecutive committee, and under that committee is 
published a publication known as the American 
Annals, a quarterly publication which has been pub- 
lished for many years. I have a set of the An- 
nals here. I have brought it over for purposes of 
reference, and I have a good many citations noted 



in my notes from the Annals which would be of 
value perhaps to the Commission. That concludes 
the ninth point upon which you are asking ques- 
tions. If you were prepared to pass on to the tenth 
point I should have something further to say with 
regard to these publications. 

13.271. Are the periodicals which are published 
in the interest of the deaf and dumb under the con- 
trol and under the guidance of these conventions, or 
are there any other independent ones ? — There are 
other independent periodicals published in the in- 
terest of the deaf themselves and for their instruc- 
tion and general entertainment ; that is to say, there 
are newspapers published for them ; but the only 
publication which is in the interest of the education 
of the deaf is this of the Annals, which has run 
now through a period of 31 years. I have here an 
index to those Annals, the whole set of volumes, 
which has been prepared at considerable expense 
and with great care, so that any one looking over 
this index can refer to this series of publications in 
a very easy manner. Any topic upon which it is de- 
sired to get information and on which information 
exists in the Annals, can be found by reference 
to this index. And I should like to say, that this 
publication is sustained in a manner somewhat pe- 
culiar . It is not a publication which merely depends 
upon the subscription of those who may desire to 
have it and read it, but from a very early point in 
the history of its publication this method has been 
pursued and found to be successful. The'institu- 
tions were asked by the standing executive com- 
mittee to contribute in proportion to the number of 
pupils in their respective schools to the support of 
this periodical, and an assessment has been made 
by the committee of certain sums upon the differ- 
ent institutions, which in general has been accepted. 
Of course these assessments were not at all compul- 
sory, merely voluntary, but they have been so gen- 
erally accepted that it has been possible to publish 
the Annals on a liberal scale, to pay an editor to 
take charge of it, and to pay contributors for articles 
contributed, which has stimulated teachers and oth- 
ers to write for the Annals in a way which has 
made it a periodical of increasing value. The as- 
sessments have been paid out of the general funds 
of the various schools of the country by vote of 
their respective boards of direction, and the money 
has been disbursed under the direction of the stand- 
ing committee, and accounted for to the conventions 
as they have met from time to time. I am very 
pleased to be able, through the assistance and cour- 
tesy of the New York Institution for the Deaf, and 
by the co-operation of Dr. Isaac Lewis Peet, who is 
at the head of it, and who succeeded his father, who 
was for many years at the head of the institution, to 
present in the name of the New York Institution, 
and of the Institution of Washington to the Com- 
mission this complete set of the Annals which I 
have brought with me as a matter of reference. It 
consists of 31 volumes, and with this index it is now 
a little difficult to get in a complete form ; and if the 
Commission will accept it from these two institu- 
tions in America, it will give the managers of the 
institutions great pleasure, I am sure. It may serve 
as a library for the Commission to delve in for them- 
selves and to get information from, which may per- 
haps be helpful as the work of the Commission goes 
on ; for these Annals speak of the education of 
the deaf not only in America but all over the world, 
and this may be said to be a mine of information 
which can serve many purposes. 

13.272. I am sure the Koyal Commission are most 
sensible of the kindness which has prompted the 
giving of so handsome a present to the Commis- 
sion, and it will be most valuable for our labors. 
The Secretary will write officially and thank the in- 
stitutions which have so kindly furnished the vol- 
umes ; and we thank you for the way in which you 

have presented them to the Royal Commission ? — I 
also present a couple of volumes relating to the 
work of the Columbia Institution at Washington. 
That is the corpoi*ate name of the institution which 
includes both the college and the primary school. 
They are the official reports to Congress of the in- 
stitution during a period of 25 years. Under the 
matter of periodicals published in the interest of the 
education of the deaf, I ought, perhaps, to say a 
word with reference to papers published by differ- 
ent institutions. Where printing offices are in ex- 
istence, it is quite the custom for the institutions to 
publish each of them a little paper, larger or smaller 
according to circumstances, in which there is much 
of interest in reference to the teaching of their pu- 
pils, and which serves to interest parents and the 
people generally of the State where the institution 

13.273. You mean a sort of school magazine * — 
Yes, a sort of school magazine ; and then there are 
one or two other papers that are published in the 
interest of the deaf quite independently of any in- 
stitution. I have brought with me two or three 
copies that might be looked over at the convenience 
of members of the Commission. Perhaps the par- 
ticular interest in these copies would be that they 
contain accounts of two or three conventions of the 
deaf themselves that were held this last summer, — 
associations which were organized by the alumni of 
the respective State schools. They meet from time 
to time. They have benevolent contributions some- 
times, and they raise money for certain purposes of 
a charitable nature ; and in the proceedings of these 
meetings will be found papers presented by the deaf 
themselves, addresses made which have been re- 
ported, which would be interesting as showing the 
point of intelligence which they reach after they 
leave the various schools of the country and the col- 
lege. I have also copies of the American Manual 
Alphabet, which is not of much use in England, but 
which has been prepared to assist parents of the 
deaf by Professor Gordon, of the college at Wash- 

13.274. Is the one-handed alphabet considered ad- 
vantageous * — We prefer it in America very much ; 
but that is a question, of course, whether it is better 
than the two-handed or not ; we think it is. And, 
in connection with the alphabet, I have cited in my 
notes a paper presented to the convention at Cali- 
fornia by an instructor of the deaf, urging the teach- 
ing of the manual alphabet in all schools, so that all 
the children in the country may know the manual 
alphabet, and be able to converse that way with deaf 
mutes when other means fail, and when the lips are 
not perfect enough for oral communication to fall 
back upon that ; and this paper was well received. 
(Annals, Vol. XXXI, p. 233.) It happens that 
when I was in Geneva lately, the American consul 
told me that three or four years ago he was extremely 
ill with an attack of hemorrhage of the lungs ; his 
physician absolutely forbade him to speak or even to • 
exert himself to write ; but having learnt the man- 
ual alphabet, and it being known by members of his 
family, he communicated with them with ease, with- 
out making any exertion which might bring on any 
possible return of the hemorrhage ; and he was quite 
ready to advocate the teaching of the manual alphabet. 

13.275. I see in one of the books mention of a 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Phonological Institute ; is 
that different from any other institution ? — It is an 
oral school ; it is only another name for it, that is 
all. I did not call attention just now, when speak- 
ing of the college at Washington, to the fact that 
we have 100 acres, which land lies within two miles 
of the National Capitol building itself. Though we 
hold it now, we may not think it necessary to hold 
it for all time, the whole of it ; but if the time should 
come when the city should extend out around it, a 
part of it might be sold and a very ample portion 

Dr. E. M. 

9 Nov. 1886. 



Dr. E. M. still remain, and, from the proceeds of the portion 
Oallaudet. sold, might be formed an endowment for the insti- 

tution. We carry on a farm here {pointing to a 

9 Nov. 188 6. picture), and an orchard, and have our own dairy, 
and raise quite enough to feed a large number of 
dairy cows. 

13.276. Can you tell us anything with regard to any 
of the Canadian institutions of the deaf and dumb ; 
have you any special knowledge of them ? — The list 
of Canadian institutions is included in the Annals 
of last January, but beyond that I am not able to 
give any very definite information, excepting that 
I may say this, that I know that they are mainly 
upon the combined system — institutions which ac- 
cept instruction in speech and give it to as large a 
number of their pupils as possible. 

13.277. You do not think that there is any sub- 
stantial difference in the teaching in the Canadian 
institutions ? — No ; but in the management there 
is. For instance, the management of the Ontario 
Institution is in the hands of an inspector or a gov- 
ernment official who controls quite a number of 
public institutions ; there is no board of directors ; 
it is under the control of an inspector who, with the 
approval of a body representing the Government, 
appoints the principal and subordinate officers The 
Mackay Institution at Montreal, I believe, is a cor- 

13.278. (Dr. Campbell.) Is the inspector of that 
institution at Ontario a superintendent of general 
education? — I do not think he is. 

13.279. ( Chairman.) Do you think tha.t if a paper 
of questions was sent round by this Commission to 
the different institutions for the deaf and dumb in 
the United States, the managers of those institutions 
would be willing to furnish any replies to those 
questions for the use of the Commission? I only 
ask the question in case we should wish to supple- 
ment the information which you have already given 
us ? — I have no doubt the majority of them would 
be quite willing to go through a great deal of trouble 
and pains to answer such questions. We are in the 
habit of answering such questions in our own coun- 
try ; for instance, to our department of education 
which exists at Washington. That sends round 
circulars which ask a good many questions which 
we grumble over a little, but always answer. 

13.280. Is the inspection in each State carried out 
by an inspector-general of the educational institu- 
tions, or is there a special inspector for the deaf and 
dumb ? — The practice differs very widely in that re- 
spect. There are some of the States in which there 
have been appointed these commissioners of public 
charities in general, and they inspect and visit and 
report upon the schools for the deaf as well as a 
number of other benevolent establishments ; but the 
practice is not uniform throughout the country at 
all. I think, in general, the management of the in- 
stitution is left very much to the local organization 
which governs it, and then it is subject to the de- 
termination which may be made from time to time 

by a legislative committee, or in some of the States 
the governor takes pains to visit (in some he is re- 
quired to visit) and report upon the condition of 
schools for the deaf. 

13.281. Have you any deaf and dumb and blind 
in any of your institutions? — We have quite a num- 
ber in America scattered through the country. 

13.282. Do the deaf and dumb and blind gener- 
ally go to the blind institutions or to the deaf and 
dumb institutions ? — I think generally to the deaf 
and dumb institutions. 

13.283. I ask that question because Mr. Hall says 
"We have three deaf and dumb and blind in 'my in- 
stitution's—That would indicate that certainly 
some are found in blind schools. I think for purposes 
of education ; on reflection I remember a blind deaf- 
mute who is in the blind institution in Maryland. 
There must be some of that class of persons in the 
blind schools. Of course, I am not able to answer 
with regard to that. I know that there are a num- 
ber in the deaf-mute schools. There are one or two 
In New York and in some of the other schools. 

13.284. Do you think it is advantageous at all 
that the deaf and dumb and blind should be asso- 
ciated together in any industrial works ; for instance, 
we have had occasion sometimes to see a deaf and 
dumb person employed in the institutions for the 
blind ; that is to say, to give sighted superintend- 
ence where sighted superintendence is necessary ; 
have you any experience of that ? — I have no expe- 
rience of that sort of employment or mingling of the 
two classes. I can see no reason why in certain cir- 
cumstances it might not be of some help, but not I 
think for the benefit of the deaf, but perhaps for the 
assistance of the blind. 

13.285. In your opinion the deaf and dumb are 
able to earn their livelihood without being included 
in any blind institutions ? — Yes ; I do not think it 
is necessary to establish special places where the 
deaf and dumb may be helped to earn their living. 
I think they can earn their living side by side with 
the hearing. 

13.286. Do any of the deaf and dumb institutions 
give any grants for the apprenticing out of young 
men, or is that generally done by the parents and 
friends ? — It is generally done by the parents and 
friends. I cannot say with certainty that there are 
any that make a practice of doing that. I think 
there have been some that have had funds at their 
disposal perhaps for a short time, which have en- 
abled them to help a certain number in that way, 
but the practice being so general in the schools in 
America of teaching industrial work while the pupil 
is in school, it would not be natural that they should 
make arrangements for having these grants to ap- 
prentice their pupils to masters when they go out. 

13.287. In fact, they are generally turned out of 
school with sufficient knowledge of some trade 
which they can practice in after-life ? — That is the 

The witness withdrew. 

Adjourned to to-morrow at eleven o'clock. 



32 Abingdon Street, Westminster. 
Wednesday, 10th November, 1886. 
Present : 
The Eight Hon. the LORD EGEETON OF TATTON in the Chair. 

Admiral Sir E. Sothebt, K.C.B. 

W. Tindal Robertson, Esq., 
B. St. John Ackers, Esq. 
T. R. Armitage, Esq., M.D. 
W. Auchincloss Arrol, Esq. 
F. J. Campbell, Esq., LL.D. 


E. C. Johnson, Esq. 
Charles Few, Esq. 
William Woodall, Esq., M.P. 
The Rev. W. Blomefield Sleight, M.A. 
The Rev. Charles Mansfield Owen, M.A. 
Charles E. D. Black, Esq , Secretary. 

Dr. E. M. Gallaudet further examined. 

13.288. {Mr. Johnson.) I suppose you consider 
that the statistics with which you have been kind 
enough to furnish the Commission, are on the whole 
fairly correct ? — I think they are quite as reliable as 
any statistics that could be found. Taking them 
in connection with the articles in the Annals to 
which I make reference, which explain them and 
give elucidations of the results which are given in 
the figures, I think one might arrive at a very ap- 
proximately accurate idea with reference to what 
those statistics profess to show. 

13.289. Did I rightly understand you to say that 
there were in America only twelve schools where 
the pure oral system was taught ? — Yes. 

13.290. In those oral schools is there no other 
system whatever taught but" the oral ? — I think if 
you will allow me in answeriDg the question to make 

of the word "method" instead of the word 


' system," I would prefer to use that word. I said 
yesterday that we apply the word " system " to that 
which may include two or three methods. I am 
quite certain that in those schools the oral method 
alone is used. 

13.291. Is any pure and simple oral teaching car- 
i-ied on in the other 38 combined system schools, or 
the 14 manual method schools ? — In the 14 manual 
method schools there would be no oral teaching 
whatever ; in the 38 combined system schools I am 
certain that there are many distinctively oral classes 
in which all the instruction is given orally, and not 
only that, but in more than one of those institutions 
that are classified as maintaining the combined sys- 
tem there are branches — separate schools — under 
one board of direction, in which the oral method is 
exclusively practised, so that the figure of 12 as 
applied to oral schools would simply mean those 
which were exclusively oral schools, while in the 
others which are put down as practising the com- 
bined system, there are distinctively oral classes ; 
and then there are separate oral schools, branches 
of the larger institutions. 

13.292. Wherever the pure oral method is taught 
in those combined system schools, are the children 
who are instructed in the oral mode separated from 
those instructed in the sign and manual mode * — 
Naturally where there are these separate schools — 
these branches — they are quite isolated from those 
children who are taught more or less by the use of 
signs and the manual alphabet. In the larger in- 
stitutions, where there are these separate oral classes, 
I do not think that any effort is made to isolate the 
children taught upon the oral method out of school ; 
to isolate them out of school from the others who 
may be taught more or less by the use of signs. 

13.293. Is it the custom in America where some 
of the children are being taught on the oral mode, 
to put those children into a separate room or build- 
ings, and are those children who are learning on the 
oral mode allowed to associate out of school with 
those who are being taught by the sign and man- 
ual mode ? — The custom is, in general, with very 
rare exceptions, I should say, not more than one or 
two, to allow the free association of the pupils after 

school hours who are taught on the different meth- j^ E M 
ods. I can hardly think of any other case than that QaUc^aa. 
of Pennsylvania, which has its oral branch ; I think __ 
there is one other institution, but I am not able at 10 N07. 1886. 
this moment to name it, that has a similar arrange- 
ment of an oral branch, and in those two there 
would be a complete separation. 

13.294. {Chairman.) In those cases where you 
speak of an oral branch, you refer to an absolutely 
separate building ? — Yes. 

13.295. It is not like the case at Manchester, one 
building divided in the middle? — No. 

13.296. {Mr. Johnson.) Is it desirable, in your 
opinion, to separate those who are taught orally 
from those who are taught by the sign and manual 
method ? — My opinion is that nothing is gained by 
it. In fact; I may go further, and express my opin- 
ion that a great deal is lost by it ; for in my judg- 
ment the association of children who are taught 
orally with those who are taught by signs, and the 
permission to use the sign-language with a consid- 
erable amount of freedom out of school, greatly as- 
sists in the mental development of those children 
who are taught on the oral method. 

13.297. When you speak of the oral method, do 
you mean the oral method, as we understand it here, 
pure and simple ? — I do. Perhaps I ought to add, 
that it may be that I have not an exactly clear ap- 
prehension of what is meant in England by the term 
" pure oral method." 

1 3.298. The pure oral method, I should say, would 
be the method advocated by the Congress at Milan % — 
Even at Milan there was quite a difference of opin- 
ion as to what should be meant by the term " Xa 
" methode ovale pure." There were those who 
maintained that that should mean the absolute ex- 
clusion of signs from all instruction. There were 
others who claimed that it should mean that at the 
earlier stages natural signs, not conventional signs, 
might be made use of by the teacher in assisting to 
the end desired ; so that, if I may be allowed to say 
so, there is quite a difference of opinion as to what 
the term should be understood to mean. If I may 
state in as few words as possible my understanding 
of this term the " pure oral method," I may say 
that I understand it to mean that method by which 
speech is made not only the great end to be at- 
tained in instructing the deaf, but to the largest 
possible extent the means of communication be- 
tween teacher and pupil, from the earliest stage of 
education. If that is the understanding in England 
of the term " pure oral method " (though in Amer- 
ica we do not use the word " pure " — we simply say 
" the oral method "), then the term " oral method," 
where I have used it in speaking of our schools, 
means in practice the same as the term " pure oral 
method " in England. 

13.299. It would be a difficulty to define it from 
your point of view, because, as I understand, in 
your combined system schools they teach lip-read- 
ing and a certain amount of speech. As I under- 
stand, in America, speech is required to be a part of 
your education in the combined system, but your 



Dr. E. M. pure oral system does not find so many advocates 
Oallaudet. as it does, perhaps, in other countries? — In Amer- 
- — ica, in the schools which are maintained on the 
10 Nov. 188 6. combined system, the practice differs in different 
schools. There are schools in which these oral 
classes, to which I referred a moment ago, exist, 
and in those the teaching cannot be differentiated 
in any essential particular from that teaching which 
would be given in the pure oral schools of England. 
We have schools carried on on the combined sys- 
tem, as it were — the oral method within the other. 
I will explain another method : Classes are organ- 
ized in which the general instruction is given by 
means of writing, the manual alphabet, and some 
use of signs in explanation, and the pupils go for half 
an hour or an hour every day to a teacher who teaches 
them speech and lip-reading ; that is quite another 
method, and results are reached by that method 
which some teachers find to be equally satisfactory 
with the results reached where speech is the main 
means of communication in giving instruction ; but 
those two different manners— if I may use the term — 
of carrying on instruction in speech may be found 
in schools which are conducted on the combined 
system. So it must not be understood that in those 
schools there is no pure oral teaching ; on the con- 
trary, the whole policy in those schools to-day (and 
I am sure that I do not misrepresent the manage- 
ment of those schools on the combined system) is 
to give oral instruction, as far as possible to as 
many as possible, and by those means which in 
practice may be found best to conduce to that end. 

13.300. There is another system which you men- 
tioned, the aural system ; I understood you to say 
that from 12 to 25 per cent, of those who are classed 
as deaf could be improved through the ear. That, 
of course, applies to persons who have not been born 
deaf ? — On the contrary, a number of very interest- 
ing cases have come under the notice of careful ob- 
servers in the different schools in America of chil- 
dren who were congenitally hard of hearing, if I may 
use that expression. They were so hard of hearing 
from birth that their hearing was never educated by 
the ordinary means, so that they have reached in 
several instances school age without having made 
any use of their hearing whatever, so far as the ac- 
quisition of the power of speech is concerned, or so 
far as learning to understand what is spoken by 
others is concerned ; so that though they are not 
congenitally deaf they are congenitally so hard of 
hearing that they stand on arriving at school age in 
the category of deaf-mutes, and not a small number 
of such persons have been found among the general 
class of deaf-mutes. 

13.301. Is the amelioration of their condition de- 
pendent on the training of the school, or is it de- 
pendent on medical treatment ! — It is dependent on 
the training of the school. The condition of the ear 
will be found to be such that medical treatment will 
not improve it. 

13.302. I suppose there is a medical examination 
in the case of every child that comes to a school for 
instruction ? — In all our best establishments. 

13.303. That is only on admission, I understood 
you to say ? — In many of our well-managed schools 
those examinations are made from time to time. 

13.304. Is any effort made to improve the defec- 
tive organ by medical treatment as a general rule ? 
— No effort is made as a general rule, simply because 
the examination has shown that such efforts have 
been made previously and failed. 

13.305. We have heard a great deal in this coun- 
try of the Milan International Congress ; were you 
present at that Congress ? — Yes. 

13.306. I see that a number of resolutions were 
arrived at. by that Congress, and I think the Com- 
mission would be very glad to know if you could 
give us some idea of the opinion of those in America 
best calculated to express an opinion upon the re- 

sults arrived at at that Congress 1 — The feeling in 
America was that the resolutions adopted by that 
Convention, giving a formal approval to the .pure 
oral method, were not entitled to very great weight. 
The Convention was far from being a representative 
body. I mean to say that there was no basis of rep- 
resentation, so that a particular institution or a par- 
ticular country should be considered as being rep- 
resented by a certain number of delegates. My own 
opinion at the time was, and nothing has since oc- 
curred to change it, that the decision of the Conven- 
tion at Milan as regards the pure oral system, as 
expressed in these resolutions, was not to be taken 
as of very great weight in determining questions of 
method, and that opinion was entertained by a very 
large majority of the teachers of the deaf in America, 
including many who taught then and teach now on 
the oral method. In justice to the few who hold to 
a different opinion I should say there were some 
teachers in America who accepted the decision of 
the Milan Convention as expressing their views. I 
am not aware that the opinion or the practice of any 
teacher in America, or of any school in America, has 
been changed by this action of the Milan Convention. 

13.307. May I take it that from your own experi- 
ence the combined system, with as much vocaliza- 
tion as can be added, is the method that you would 
recommend * — I should say oral teaching should be 

13.308. Is that the method which is recommended 
in America 1 — That is the method which is recom- 
mended by the resolutions which I had the honor 
to read to the Commission yesterday, as coming from 
the largest Convention that has ever been held in 
America, and at which all methods were represented. 
My views are in accordance with the recommenda- 
tions in those resolutions, and I have held those 
views during now a period of 19 years. I may say 
frankly, that my experience prior to that time was 
such as to lead me to depreciate and undervalue the 
oral teaching of the deaf, and I wrote and spoke and 
worked as a manual teacher purely up to 1867 ; but 
when I then visited Europe and examined the oral 
schools, especially in Germany, I became satisfied 
that I had failed to grasp the situation theretofore, 
and I accepted at once the addition of the oral 
method as a necessity in any system that aimed to 
reach the highest good of the deaf. In a convention 
at Indianapolis, some quotations from speeches at 
which were alluded to yesterday, I was assailed by 
one of the old and very respected manualists as the 
degenerate son of a worthy sire, because I had fallen 
from the grace of the manual method. I survived 
the accusation. I do not know that I am less re- 
spected now than I was then. 

13.309. {Rev. C. Mansfield Owen.) Do you consider 
it essential if State aid is to be given, that the State 
should enforce the adoption of any one method of 
instruction 1 — I should conceive it to be extremely 
deplorable if such State aid were coupled with such 
a restriction. 

13.310. From your etperience do you think that 
articulation can be successfully taught to those who 
have been born deaf, or who have lost their hearing 
in early infancy ? — My experience leads me to say" 
that in a very considerable number of cases success, 
and entire success, may be attained with deaf chil- 
dren who were born deaf or lost their hearing very 
early in life. 

13.311. Have you ever known instances of deaf 
children who have been transferred from the oral 
method to the manual method because they failed 
under the oral method I — I have known many such 

13.312. Have the children in those cases succeeded 
under the manual method ? — Yes. 

13.313. Though they had previously failed under 
the oral method 1 ? — Yes. 

13.314. When you said yesterday that the language 



of signs is diminishing, do I rightly understand you 
to wish the manual alphabet to be used more and 
signs less ? — I recommend a restricted use of signs 
in the class-rooms ; I would have the use of signs 
restricted as far as possible in the class-rooms, and 
the manual alphabet used rather more freely than I 
know it has been used in many of the manual and 
even the combined schools. 

13.315. Dolrightly understand that you decidedly 
deprecate the adoption of the oral method to the ab- 
solute exclusion of the other methods ? — I go even 
so far as to say that that oral method will conduce to 
the best results which does not disdain to make some 
use of signs and a considerable use of the manual 
alphabet ; in other words, that the pure oral method, 
which attempts to exclude signs and which excludes 
the manual alphabet, I do not conceive can reach 
the best results under any circumstances. 

13.316. (Speaking from your experience, what pro- 
portion of pupils educated on the oral method are, 
in your opinion, enabled to rely solely upon articu- 
lation and lip-reading as a means of communication 
with hearing persons in after-life ? — The question is 
a difficult one to answer. It is a question which 
I asked myself many times when I was visiting 
schools for the deaf in Europe in 1867. I received 
answers to that question from a number of very 
prominent oral teachers of the deaf who were then 
actively engaged in some of the foremost schools of 
Europe ; if it be desired I can give a reference to 
their answers, which are contained in my report on 
my visit to those schools in 1867. . Speaking for my- 
self, I should find it extremely difficult to give an 
intelligent answer to that question, for my experi- 
ence with deaf children taught orally is not wide 
enough. I mean to say that it is mainly confined to 
a single institution, but I have the opinions on that 
question of Mr. Hill of Weisenfels, Mr. Hirsch of 
Rotterdam, and M. Vaisse of Paris, and one or two 
others, which were expressed at that time and which 
might be laid before the Commission. 

13.317. Do you find that orally-taught pupils when 
they are not under supervision converse with each 
other manually or viva voce ? — They converse with 
each other manually, almost wholly, even in the pure 
oral schools. 

13.318. (Chairman.) You are speaking of Amer- 
ica ? — I should say it is the same in every country. 

13.319. (Rev. C. Mansfield Owen.) Do orally- 
taught pupils after leaving school keep up then- 
speech and lip-reading, or does your experience lead 
you to believe that they prefer to talk with their 
fingers, and that their speech and lip-reading falls 
into disuse ? — I think it depends very much upon 
the energy and mental capacity of the deaf person. 
I am sure that very many of the deaf who have been 
orally taught not only keep up their use of speech 
and lip-reading but improve it after leaving school, 
it is quite possible that they may do so, but because 
some do so, others who do not should not be per- 
haps seriously blamed, because their failure to do 
so proceeds from their very different mental consti- 
tution, a less persistence in the will, and a variety 
of causes. It is equally true that a large number 
of deaf persons orally taught, on leaving school, do 
allow their use of speech and lip-reading to fall into 
considerable desuetude, they resort to the use of 
signs and the manual alphabet, and they associate 
with deaf persons with whom they may speak freely 
by those means. 

13.320. In America, I understand, you do not 
make any special effort to follow up the pupils in 
after-life, to know what system they keep to ? — On 
the contrary, the managers of the various schools do 
take pains to inquire what their graduates are doing, 
and to urge and encourage those who have been 
orally taught to keep up the practice of that very 
valuable acquisition of speech and lip-reading. 

There are reports existing of some of the schools in Dr. E. M. 
America where very careful inquiries have been Oallavdet. 

made to see whether the use of speech has been 

continued, whether it has improved, or whether it 10 Nov. 188 6. 
has grown less perfect ; those reports are easily 

13.321. In America, have you missionaries who 
assist you in that way, keeping the pupils in touch 
with the institutions ? — Yes. 

13.322. And they are able to report upon the 
method of communication which the pupils have 
adopted after leaving the institution ? — Yes. 

13.323. I presume you would consider the evi- 
dence of those missionaries very important 1 ? — I 
should, decidedly. 

13.324. It has been stated in evidence that the 
pupil's " power of gathering from the lips of others 
"is within very narrow limits during the school 
" period " ; if that be so, do you consider it a proof 
of the inefficiency of the method of instruction? — I 
should say that that is undoubtedly true, but I do 
not consider that it is an evidence of the inefficiency 
of that method of instruction ; it is simply evidence 
that the instruction has not yet been carried on to 
a successful point. 

13.325. Do you consider that orally-taught pupils 
can go out into the world and converse freely with 
all with whom they come in contact ? — Quite the 
contrary. I have known very few of whom that 
statement could be made with truth. I have known 
a few, but the number is so small that it would be 
represented by not more than one or two or three 
per cent, of the whole number of orally taught. 

13.326. Have you ever known instances of orally- 
taught pupils dispensing in after-life entirely with 
the sign and finger-alphabet and the use of pen and 
pencil in their communication with the world? — I 
have known those of whom I have been told that 
they did dispense with even the pen and pencil and 
paper ; certainly they did with the use of signs and 
the finger-alphabet. 

13.327. Have you known of such cases yourself ? 
— Yes, I have known of such cases. 

13.328. Have you known of many ? — Not many. 

13.329. You think such cases would be the excep- 
tion, and not the rule ? — Decidedly the exception 
and not the rule. 

13.330. Have you known of any taught on the 
pure oral method who could understand sermons or 
lectures if they could see clearly the utterances of 
those who were speaking or preaching, as the case 
might be ? — The most important word in that ques- 
tion is the shortest — the word " if " ; so much de- 
pends upon that " if " — if they can see clearly. I 
should answer the question as you have given it, 
yes, but I should immediately say that the usual 
environment of a deaf person who is present on any 
occasion where public speaking is going on, is sure 
to be that which would render it impossible for him 
to see clearly the lips and vocal organs of the one 
who is speaking. 

13.331. To take another example : Supposing 
there are one or two persons sitting round a table 
talking, have you ever seen an orally-taught per- 
son appear to understand or take part in the gen- 
eral conversation ? — You limit it to one or two. 

13.332. I mean in a room, in ordinary society ? — 
I have never seen one who could take part with any 
freedom in the general conversation of a number of 
persons sitting round a table, for instance. Instead 
of " take part " I ought to say " take very much 
part." Taking part in the conversation round a 
table might mean that this deaf person orally taught 
would speak to one person across the table and do 
pretty well ; he might be said to be taking part in 
the conversation at the table, but, properly speak- 
ing, taking part in a conversation would be when a 



Dr. E. M. number of people were talking, for this orally- 
Gallaudet. taught person to glance from one to another and 

catch up the threads of conversation and join in 

10 Nov. 188 6. them, and have his word to say upon them, that is 
— what I understand to be meant by " taking part in 

" the general conversation," and my answer remains 
as before, with that explanation. 

13.333. How long had the oral system been in 
vogue in America before you produced some good 
pupils who in after-life could converse ? — In the in- 
stitution at Washington several years. Much to 
my regret the institution at Washington, the pri- 
mary school, did not adopt the oral method imme- 
diately after the recommendation which I had the 
honor to make to our Board of Direction in 1867 ; 
the reason for this was owing to the fact that the 
whole energy of the management of the institution 
at Washington was then being directed to securing 
Governmental aid for the college, and to promoting 
the development of the college. As our primary 
school was small, the directors thought it was not 
essential that oral teaching should be immediately 
introduced, and it was therefore deferred for a few 

13.334. Speaking from your knowledge, do you 
think that in fifteen or twenty years after the system 
was adopted, good results ought to be produced ? — 
I should think so. 

13.335. Tou think that would be plenty of time ? 
— Ample time. 

13.336. I believe that in America no pains or ex- 
pense have been spared to attain full information 
on this oral system ? — That is so. 

13.337. Were deputations sent from America to 
Germany to examine into the subject ? — There were 
as early as before 1850. I think it was 1848, but I 
am not quite able to speak to the exact date. 

13.338. What were the reports on the system 
adopted in Germany? — The reports given at that 
time were unfavorable to the oral method ; upon 
the whole they gave approval to a certain amount 
of instruction in articulation to such deaf and dumb 
as had some power of speech or had some little 
power of hearing, but they did not recommend its 
general adoption. 

13.339. Then as I understand, the fact that the 
oral system is not adopted universally in America 
cannot be attributed to want of knowledge of the 
subject? — Certainly not. We have had abundant 
knowledge of what has been done in any country in 
the world. 

13.340. If the oral system is adopted to the ex- 
clusion of any other system, you consider it detri- 
mental to the best interest of the children? — I should 
consider it extremely so. 

13.341. It has been stated in evidence by an oral 
teacher that a boy educated on the oral system 
could, after three years' instruction, write an ordi- 
nary letter ; have you known such cases in America ? 
— Yes, I have ; and I have also known cases where 
they have been taught upon the manual method 
where they could write quite as well and quite as 

13.342. Taking an equal length of time, do you 
consider that a manual pupil or an oral pupil is the 
better instructed ? — I Bhould without question give 
the preference to the pupil manually instructed so 
for as the development of his mind is concerned 
and the aggregate amount of knowledge gained. 

13.343. By which system do you consider that 
pupils attain a greater grasp of language ? — When 
either method is carried on as it should be, and 
good teachers are employed, as between the oral 
method and the manual method, I have not been 
able to ascertain that any superiority is to be ac- 
corded to one over the other as to accuracy in the 
use of idiomatic language. 

13.344. With regard to the cost per head, what is 
the cost per head in America as compared with that 
in Paris ; I think you said it was 601., roughly speak- 
ing, in Paris ? — 382. is the average cost per head in 
America as compared with 601. in Paris. 

13.345. Do you take into consideration the inter- 
est on plant ? — Not in either case. 

13.346. What compulsion can the State put upon 
parents, or the representatives of the parents, 
to send deaf and dumb children to school? — I 
think in two or three only of the States of our 
Union in America are there laws which authorize 
any public officer to compel the attendance of deaf 
and dumb children in the schools. 

13.347. Then when the State gives aid to an in- 
stitution, is it the rule to insist upon inspection ? — 
Yes ; it depends on the will of the State Govern- 
ment to what extent that inspection should be car- 
ried. In New England it is an inspection made by 
the Governor and his council, or by the Gover- 
nor and a committee of the legislature. In some 
other States it is made by a Board of Charities 
constituted for such purpose, and again in other 
States it is made, as I said yesterday, by the 
actual governing body which controls the institu- 
tion absolutely and reports to the State Govern- 

13.348. There are no school inspectors, as such, 
like we have in England ? — No. 

13.349. Will you tell us a little more of the oral 
branch of the Pennsylvania Institution ? — The oral 
branch of the institution at Pennsylvania is one 
that I briefly alluded to yesterday, and it exists 
with a method of organization which in the report 
which I made in 1867 on the European schools for 
the deaf, I commended as perhaps the ideal method 
of organization. I found it then existing in Copen- 
hagen, where there were two schools under Gov- 
ernment inspection under the same general man- 
agement, and there was a carefully arranged process 
of selection and discrimination among the pupils 
received and provided for by the management of 
those two schools, which formed practically a single 
institution, so that a very wise selection was made 
of pupils who should be taught upon the oral 
method or upon the manual method. That is the 
arrangement at Philadelphia, this oral branch occu- 
pying buildings which are under the charge of a 
matron, and quite separated by two or three miles, 
I think, from the buildings of the main institution. 
Those children who are found to be specially ready 
in speech and in lip-reading, and who do not need 
perhaps — I say perhaps, in order to be consistent 
with what I said a little while ago as to the value 
of signs and the manual alphabet in all teaching of 
the deaf — who do not need, perhaps, the assistance 
of those means of instruction, are separated from 
those who use signs and the manual alphabet, and 
are taught on as pure an oral method as can be 
found anywhere in the world. Mr. Crouter, the 
very able and esteemed principal of this Pennsylva- 
nia institution, presented to the California Conven- 
tion a paper on " The True Combined System " of in- 
struction, and I venture to give it some words of 
commendation, even more decided than I gave it in 
referring to it yesterday ; and he gives opinions and 
results of the practice. This method is carried on 
in this, one of the oldest of the manual schools in 
America, which now takes its place, in my opinion, 
in the van of oral teaching. 

13.350. With regard to religious instruction; 
what do you think is the best method of conduct- 
ing religious instruction for the deaf and dumb? — 
There are in existence organizations in many parts 
of our country for the religious instruction of the 
deaf after they leave school. There are missions 
for their assistance, the headquarters of one of which 
is in New York, my brother, Dr. Thomas Gallaudet, 



D. D., being at the bead of tbat organization ; be 
bas several assistants, two of whom are deaf and 
who are in holy orders, and he has services with the 
aid of those assistants in very many of the cities of 
the Union, in the West, and in the South, and in 
the East. Those services have been found to be a 
great help to the deaf in their moral and religious 
life, and more than that, that organization has been 
the means of giving them assistance and comfort 
in a great variety of ways, helping them in their 
efforts to gain a livelihood, and to live decently and 
respectably. The work is regarded in America as a 
matter of very great importance, and those missions 
to the deaf are sustained very liberally. It is known 
to be absolutely impossible to carry them on ex- 
cepting by the employment of a means of commu- 
nication which shall be manual ; it is impossible to 
conduct a service for the deaf orally which would 
be intelligible to any considerable number of those 
attending it. 

13.351. Do pure orally-taught persons, after they 
leave the institutions, attend those services ? — Yes. 

13.352. Do they acquire the sign and manual 
language after they leave the institution 1 ? — Very 

13.353. In order to participate in those ser- 
vices'? — Yes, and to enjoy social intercourse with 
those similarly afflicted. 

13.354. All the services are conducted in tbe sign 
and manual language 1 — Yes. 

13.355. You said that the Federal Government 
takes great interest in the amelioration of the con- 
dition of the deaf and dumb, and you said that the 
President of the United States is ex-officio patron 
of your college ; does he take a personal interest 
in the present movement for the advancement of 
deaf and dumb education ? — He does take a very 
warm interest in it. He began his life as a teacher 
of the blind, and he has never ceased to take an in- 
terest in institutions for the benefit of the blind 
and deaf, and be is patron of our institution at 
Washington for the deaf. The President has on 
several occasions manifested his interest by attend- 
ing tbe anniversaries, and in other ways. On the 
morning that I left Washington to answer the in- 
vitation to give evidence before this Commission, I 
called upon the President to take my leave, and to 
inform him of the purpose for which I was to be 
absent from the country by the permission of the 
Government, and he expressed very great interest, 
not only in our work in America, but in the work 
proposed to be done by this Commission, which I 
explained to him at some length as far as I was 
aware of it ; and before the day was over he sent 
me this note, which it may be of interest to the 
Commission to know is entirely written and directed 
by his own hand, expressive of his great interest in 
the object of my visit to England, and in the work 
of the Commission : 

" Executive Mansion, 
" Washington, October 6th, 1886. 
" Professor E. M. Gallacdet. 

" Mr Dear Sib : I am very glad to learn that you have 
been invited to give information before a Commission or- 
ganized under the auspices of the British Government to 
inquire concerning the subjects of the education of the 
blind, the deaf, and the dumb. A country that contributes 
so largely from its public funds for these purposes, and 
with such gratifying results, ought to be able to furnish 
much that is interesting and profitable in such an investiga- 
tion ; and no person, I believe, can better represent our 
achievements in this field of inquiry than yourself. I hope 
that the trip you are to make in answer to this invitation 
will be pleasant, and in furtherance of the objects which 
you have so earnestly at heart. 
" Yours sincerely, 

" Geovek Cleveland." 

13,356. (Mr. Arrol.) You stated yesterday that 
one in 1,800 of the population in America is deaf ; 
can you give the Commission any information as to 
how that proportion compares with the proportion 


in the continent of Europe f — The proportion on Br. E. M. 
the continent of Europe, as well as I remember, Qallatldet. 

varies more or less. In the mountainous countries, 

where physical disabilities, such as goitre and ere- 10 NoT - 188 g - 
tinism, and other evidences of physical deteriora- 
tion exist, tbe number is much larger ; but I think (I 
speak quite from memory, and not from any recent 
examination of the figures), that the proportion in 
the countries of Europe in which ordinary physical 
vigor and development exist, does not differ very 
much from tbat in America. 

13.357. Can you inform the Commission what the 
proportion may be of persons who are born deaf ? — 
Bather less than one-half. A reference to the tables 
which I have submitted as an appendix to my evi- 
dence, would give that ; there are two or three 
tables where that would be stated quite definitely, 
and the causes of deafness are there rehearsed. 

13.358. Yesterday you mentioned, that of the 7,800 
under tuition, you excluded 186 taught at pure oral 
schools ? — Those were private schools. 

13.359. You have mentioned that there are rather 
over 3,000 being taught articulation ; what may be 
the reason why such a large proportion as the re- 
mainder are not being taught articulation? — 
Partly because there are still 14 manual schools in 
America where no speech is taught, and then fur- 
ther, because in some of the larger institutions 
which are carried on on the combined system, the 
oral method has been recently introduced, and 
means are not available for the employment of 
teachers enough to teach as many of the pupils as 
might be taught orally, and further, because a large 
number of the pupils in our schools have been 
found to be not likely to succeed well in oral attain- 
ments, and so their instruction in that branch has 
been given up. 

13.360. What may tbat large number represent 
in proportion ? — I give only my own opinion, but it 
is that the proportion of the deaf who will not be 
likely to succeed in speech, to an extent to justify 
the expense and labor of teaching them orally, would 
certainly rise to 40 per cent. 

13.361. In connection with most of your schools, 
apparently, you have industrial departments ? — Yes. 

13.362. Fourteen only have no industrial branch 
connected with them ; are those the private and the 
public board schools that have no manufacturing 
departments connected with them ? — Eight of those 
14 are day schools, and of the other six my impres- 
sion is that at least three would be those private 
schools of which we spoke, so that only three of 
the public institutions of America can be said to be 
absolutely without an industrial department. 

13.363. It is considered necessary to have an in- 
dustrial department 1 — It is considered quite essen- 
tial to the proper preparation of a young deaf and 
dumb person to go out and make his way in the 

13.364. Did I rightly understand you to express 
the opinion that it is to the benefit of the deaf and 
dumb adults that they should be connected with the 
parent school or institution through missionaries ? 
— I did not say that it was desirable, in my opinion, 
that they should be connected with the parent in- 
stitution through the intervention of missionaries 
connected with the institution ; those missionaries 
are not sustained by the institutions, but by organ- 
izations in which funds are contributed by persons 
disposed to carry on this missionary work among 
tbe deaf ; they are not directly connected with the 

13.365. How many missionaries have you trained 

and sent out from your college at Washington * I 

think that three or four of the graduates of the col- 
lege have gone out to become missionaries among 
that class. I am not able to speak with definiteness 
of the number, but I know several have. It may be 



Dr. E. M. five- I ma y repeat what I said a little while ago. 

Gallaudet. I think it very important that these missions should 

be carried on for the benefit of the adult deaf. 

10 Nov. 188 6. 13^66. Is it found that State aid in America con- 
flicts with charitable benevolence ? — It is found that 
so far as what might be termed annual subscriptions 
to aid in the ordinary support of schools for the 
deaf go, the general giving of State aid in America 
does away almost absolutely with such annual sub- 
scriptions, but it by no means stands in the way of 
bequests and legacies which in some instances have 
been quite large in amount ; for example, in 1865 or 
1866, a Mr. Clark, in Massachusetts, left a very hand- 
some fortune for the establishment of an oral school 
for the deaf, which was established at Northampton. 
I think the endowment of that institution — I am 
speaking without any recent reference to the figures 
— is 50,00(M. or 60,000£, and that endowment was 
made, of course, long after State aid had been freely 
given in all that region of country. The Pennsyl- 
vania institution has large endowments which yield 
an income, which is devoted to certain purposes, 
and I am under the impression that in the case of 
that institution there are certain sums paid to those 
who leave to assist them in making their way with 
master mechanics as a sort of apprenticeship money. 
So that in the matter of legacies and charitable gifts 
to institutions the giving of State aid has not stood 
in the way of their continuance. 

13.367. In America you consider it absolutely 
necessary for the Government to subsidize all these 
charitable institutions for the deaf and dumb? — It 
would be difficult to accomplish the end in any other 
way. It is looked on as a thing which it is right the 
State should provide for. 

1 3.368. Do you or not consider that it is necessary, 
after a deaf and dumb person has been thoroughly 
educated, that he should in anyway receive a subsidy 
or grant to assist him in industrial pursuits or in 
earning a living in some other way ? — That would 
depend a great deal upon the amount of industrial 
training that he had received while he was in school, 
and upon the age at which he left school, which 
would, of course, come in to affect the matter of the 
amount of industrial training which he might have 
received. Of course, if he was an accomplished me- 
chanic, he would be able to go out and make his 
way without assistance; if he were not an ac- 
complished workman, either from the fact of the 
short time that he had been under instruction, 
or from having been in a school where a sufficient 
number of industries were not taught, or from the 
fact that his education began at so early an age and 
closed at so early an age as to make it quite out of 
the question to teach him a trade while in school, I 
think it would be a very advisable thing that there 
should be funds existing, from the income of which 
there might be a sum of money paid to assist him 
in making a start. 

13.369. The inspection of your institutions, I ap- 
prehend, is conducted by a board connected with 
the State, or connected with the institution ; would 
it not be more thorough and more satisfactory to 
have Federal State inspection? — That would be 
quite inconsistent with the whole spirit of our Gov- 
ernment ; it would not be tolerated in the States at 
all ; in fact, it would be inconsistent with the con- 
stitution of the several States for Federal inspection 
to attempt to extend itself into schools sustained 
either as corporate schools or State schools by the 
State Governments. 

13.370. Do not you think that that system of in- 
spection would be more thorough ? — My own opin- 
ion is that the inspection of a local board of men 
having a local interest; and, therefore, a personal in- 
terest, in the success of the school, would be likely 
to lead to better results than an examination which 
was made by an inspector or a board of inspectors 
appointed to go over a very large amount of terri- 

tory and examine institutions all over the country. 
I think I said yesterday that in America the ideal 
exterior organization of an institution was felt to 
be a corporate institution with the assistance of the 
State, and without much interference, either in the 
way of inspection or otherwise, by the State, but 
depending for its successful development on the 
earnestness and activity of the men constituting the 
local board of management, and on a desire to show 
results comparing favorably with those of other 

13.371. Perhaps you may have formed an opinion 
upon the reasons why the pure oral system, after 
being tried so thoroughly in this country towards 
the end of the last century and the beginning of 
this, should have been in a measure abandoned till 
recently ? — My opinion is that it was for the reasons 
which operate to make my own opinion unfavorable 
to the attempt to force all the deaf into education 
on the oral method. It is undoubtedly the fact that 
when that is insisted on the result is that a very 
large number of deaf who are perfectly capable of 
being educated on the manual method are likely to 
be set aside as almost imbecile because they cannot 
succeed on the oral method. That, in point of fact, 
has been the case. In many countries where the 
attempt to teach all on the oral method is persisted 
in the results in a large number of cases are sure 
to be so unsatisfactory that it is not at all strange 
that the tide of public opinion should set back and 
sweep the oral method off and revert to the manual 
method. In my opinion, the only way, perhaps I 
should not say the only way but the best way, to 
preserve the oral method in its best uses is to ac- 
knowledge that it is not possible to apply it to all, 
but that it is applicable to a certain number, and 
that other methods should be adopted for those 
who did not succeed with the oral method. 

13.372. You made a tour of inspection in 1867, 
and visited some 36 schools ; would you favor the 
Commission with your views in respect to what you 
found on your recent visit as to the increased 
amount of teaching under the oral system? — I 
know, as a matter of fact, that in France and Italy 
and in England the oral method is now employed 
in a much greater proportion than it was at that 

13.373. Can you say to what extent? — I am not 
able to say to what extent ; I know that quite a 
large number of the prominent schools in France 
have adopted it. 

13.374. (Chairman.) It is not a question of 
adoption, it is now the law of the country that the 
oral method shall be taught in all schools ? — I was 
not aware of that. 

13.375. And, as I am told, the reason why the age 
of admission is at present fixed so high is because 
it is a survival of the old manual system, and they 
are gradually lowering it in France? — I was not 
aware of that. 

13.376. (Br. Tindal Robertson.) Is the physical 
condition of the deaf and dumb who have come 
under your superintendence equal to that of ordi- 
nary children ? — I find that it is probably, and I 
think almost certainly, a little lower, not very much 
lower, but a little lower, for the reason that the 
deafness supervenes, in very many cases, in conse- 
quence of severe attacks of disease ; those attacks 
of disease leave the system not only with the audi- 
tory organ destroyed, but with other conditions of 
feebleness, so that those cases where that physical 
deterioration has occurred would come in to lower 
the average a little, but not very much. I should 
say that, generally speaking, the physical condition 
of the deaf and dumb might be stated to be good. 

13.377. Except in those cases where deafness 
occurs as a sequela to other diseases ? — Yes. 



13.378. Are there medical men attached to your 
institutions ? — Yes. 

13.379. Are examinations always made in the 
case of children who come into the school ? — Yes. 

13.380. {Chairman.) And periodically too? — 

13.381. {Br. Tindal Robertson.) In the case of 
death are there any post-mortem examinations ? — 
There have been in some cases, but usually where 
the death happens from some well understood cause 
no post-mortem examination is made. 

13.382. In cases where post mortem examinations 
are made, is there any record of any abnormal ap- 
pearances kept ? — No ; among some of our instruc- 
tors the wish has been expressed that such exami- 
nations should be made more frequently. 

13.383. Do you think that such a thing might be 
advisable, and might lead to information upon the 
subject which would be very useful ? — I should be 
inclined to say so. , 

13.384. {Br. Armitage.) You grant diplomas at 
your college ; how are they granted ? — The directors 
of our institution at Washington, which includes 
the college and the primary school as well, are 
named in our annual report ; they consist of one 
Senator appointed by the President of the Senate, 
two Members of the House appointed by the Speaker 
of the House, and six directors, who hold a per- 
manent position. The vote of that Board, of which 
I am the President, and before which recommenda- 
tions come from the faculty of the college, is neces- 
sary in the conferring of degrees, the degrees being 
conferred upon the recommendation of the faculty. 

13.385. In point of fact, you are self-contained ; 
the professors, as I understand you, and the presi- 
dent examine the pupils as to their fitness to obtain 
the diploma? — Yes. 

'13,386. Do the ordinary primary State schools 
throughout the country grant diplomas to the pupils 
when they leave school'?— I understand you to mean 
by diplomas, degrees ; in no instance do they give 
such diplomas ; they may give a certificate ; the pupils 
receive a certificate of honorable dismissal or gradua- 
tion from these schools. 

13.387. You spoke of graduates from these State 
schools ; did you mean by that simply those who 
had passed through the course of the school ? — I 
think, if I remember rightly, when I used the. term 
"graduates," I referred to those who had gone 
regularly through these primary State schools as 
pupils ; they would be classed generally as gradu- 
ates of those schools. 

13.388. By the word "graduates" you simply 
meant former pupils ? — No, but those only who have 
completed the prescribed full course of study. 

13.389. To continue Dr. Robertson's questions as 
to physical training, are gymnastics and free exer- 
cises and out-door games carried on in considerable 
extent in your American schools ? — To a consider- 
able extent ; I regret to say not to as great an ex- 
tent as would be deemed desirable. Six years ago 
at Washington we completed and opened a very 
well equipped gymnasium, in which physical train- 
ing is carried on under the direction of a well 
educated and competent drill master and instructor. 
Since that time quite a number of State institutions 
have followed the example set at Washington, and 
have erected and equipped gymnasiums more or 
less perfect in their appliances for physical training. 
It is admitted on all hands that that is extremely 
desirable, and I think those appliances for physical 
training will soon be introduced in our institutions 
generally; physical training by such means is of 
even greater importance to the deaf, if that were 
possible, than to those who are not deaf. 

13.390. As to another question which was touched 
upon yesterday, are intermarriages among the deaf 

-They may be said to be quite 

Dr. E. M. 


frequent in America ?- 

13.391. Taking the whole of the marriages of the 10 N ^7l886. 

deaf, can you give us an idea what the percentage 

of those who have intermarried is to the whole 

number of marriages ? — I am sorry to say I am not 
able to answer that question in figures. I can say, 
in general, that the number of intermarriages of 
deaf persons would considerably exceed the number 
of marriages where only one of the contracting par- 
ties was deaf. 

13.392. Do you think that the intermarriage of 
the deaf and dumb leads to bad results? — I 
think the whole subject depends on a matter of 
which I spoke yesterday. As a matter of fact, there 
are a considerable number of families now existing 
in America, the parents in which are both deaf, and 
in which there are to be found a large, not to say a 
lamentable, proportion of deaf children. My opin- 
ion is, that those marriages, on examination, would 
be found to be between parties who belong to fami- 
lies in which there was an indubitable tendency to 
deafness, proved by the existence in those families 
of a considerable number of deaf persons. It is 
also true that there are a large number of families 
in America where both parents are deaf in which no 
deaf children are to be found. The general opinion 
is that a deaf person in a family with a tendency to 
deafness should not marry a person of another 
family with a similar tendency. Where that is 
avoided the danger of deaf offspring is diminished 
to a very small figure. Marriages of the deaf are 
encouraged in America rather than otherwise by 
the officers of institutions ; it is found unquestion- 
ably that the happiness of the deaf is immensely 
increased by happy marriages ; of course they may 
make unhappy marriages as well as hearing people? 
— I have myself taken occasion in several articles 
that I have published to caution the deaf in the 
matter of marriage, and to urge that where it is 
practicable they should make choice of a partner 
who hears, for unquestionably it is more to the ad- 
vantage of the offspring to have only one parent 
deaf than to have two parents deaf. 

13.393. Do you believe that when the deaf con- 
tract marriages that question is considered fre- 
quently ? — I think it is more and more considered. 

13.394. You think that they would endeavor to 
avoid marrying into a family where there was 
a hereditary tendency to deafness ? — I think it is 
more and more considered ; the officers of the in- 
stitutions take more and more pains to guard 
against such marriages. 

13.395. Is the evil that we are referring to fully 
appreciated by the missionaries ? — I am not able to 
say that. 

13.396. Your brother, Dr. Gallaudet, is at the 
head of one of the missionary organizations ? — My 
brother is at the head of one of the largest mission- 
ary organizations in America ; he appreciates the 
danger of which we are speaking fully, and would 
certainly exercise his influence to prevent unsuitable 

13.397. You think it desirable that the mission- 
aries should throw their whole influence into the scale 
to prevent marriages where there is a tendency to 
deafness in both families? — Most undoubtedly I do. 

13.398. Can you suggest any other way in which 
such intermarriages can be prevented or discounte- 
nanced? — I have given the subject from first to last 
a great deal of thought, and I can see no other way. 
I think legislation upon the subject would be incon- 
sistent with public sentiment. I think there is no 
better way of dealing with the matter than for the 
teachers, and those who have any interest in the 
deaf after they leave school, to give them the best 
advice they can upon the subject, and endeavor to 



Dr. E. M. 


10 Nov. 1886 

lead them to do that which is best in the matter of 

13.399. Is the matter one which is much insisted 
' on in literature which is published specially for the 

deaf? — I do not think it has been very much in- 
sisted on. 

13.400. (Admiral Sotheby.) Taking into con- 
sideration the great difficulty and the time required 
in teaching the deaf and dumb, do you consider that 
industrial training during the period of school life 
militates against the best development of educa- 
tion ? — Not if the period of school life ean be pro- 
longed to at least seven years ; if it is cut short of 
that it might be a question whether, in giving too 
much time to industrial training, you might not be 
lessening the value of the other department of 

13.401. Would not you say that a little industrial 
training while they were under education might be 
beneficial to their health and be a relaxation ? — Yes, 
I should say that industrial training rightly carried 
on might be beneficial to health. 

13.402. Tou have stated that you were present 
at the Convention at Milan ? — Yes. 

13.403. Are you aware that the French went there 
strongly prejudiced against the oral Bystem ? — I 
have heard it said that a number of teachers went 
from France who were previously manual teachers. 
I have no positive knowledge that they went there 
with any strong prejudice against the oral method. 

13.404. Are you aware that the French Commis- 
sioner and the teachers who went from France to 
that Convention came away converts to the oral 
system ? — That is a fact quite well known. 

13.405. And then a law was passed in Paris that 
the oral system should be adopted as the State sys- 
tem ? — So I understand. 

13.406. I think you said that for church and plat- 
form purposes the sign and manual system is cer- 
tainly the best ? — Certainly the best, and the only 
method, so far as I am aware, by which one can 
succeed in imparting information to a considerable 
audience of deaf persons. 

13.407. Who makes out the syllabus for the re- 
ligious instruction in the schools in America? — 
Whatever body controls the course of instruction 
in the school. 

13.408. The syllabus is not drawn up by the su- 
perintendent himself? — If the board of directors 
authorize the superintendent so to do it may be done 
by the superintendent himself ; it may be done by 
a committee ; it may be done in any manner that 
the board of direction direct. 

13.409. There is a regular syllabus made out? — 
Yes, for a certain amount of religious instruction. 

13.410. Do you consider that the deaf and dumb 
will fairly compare with hearing people as to moral- 
ity ? — I consider that they will. 

13.411. You say that deaf-mutes lose much social 
intercourse if their conversation is confined to the 
lip system ; do you find in America many people 
who understand the sign and manual system or the 
.manual system only so as to be able to converse 
with them? — I find in America that a very large 
number of people understand the manual alphabet, 
through the means of which they converse readily 
with deaf persons who have never been taught orally. 

13.412. And they prefer doing that ? — They pre- 
fer it in many instances ; they find it a means of 
communication more direct and more agreeable, less 
coupled with the necessity for repetition, and less 
liable to misunderstanding than the oral method of 

13.413. Do you consider that the deaf and dumb 
are able to take their part with hearing people in 
all manly sports ? — So far as hunting and shooting 
are concerned, for my own part I advise the deaf 

to let them alone, for so much depends on what 
may come to one through the ears if one goes hunt- 
ing or shooting that it is dangerous for them to 
engage in those" sports. But we find that the deaf 
are quite capable of taking part in such games as 
cricket, or base-balk or foot-ball, and we encourage 
them to do so. 

13.414. You would probably add swimming to 
the list of manly exercises in which they might 
safely take part ? — Yes ; we have a swimming school 
in connection with our gymnasium at Washington. 

13.415. I understood you to say that between 
certain times 40 had left the college at Washington, 
and are now occupying very lucrative positions ; 
what would that period be? — My statement was 
that 40 who had gone out from the college had been 
engaged in teaching. I enumerated a large number 
of others who were engaged in various pursuits, 
but the 40 had become teachers of the deaf, and the 
period during which they left the college and en- 
tered upon those various pursuits would extend 
over about 20 years. 

13.416. (Rev. W. Blomefield Sleight.) At what 
age do you consider that the education should be- 
gin under the oral method, and at what age under 
the manual method? — My own judgment is in favor 
of beginning the instruction of deaf-mutes in school 
at the age of seven years as a rule. In certain cases 
where the physical development is very decided, 
and the home associations are such as to make it 
desirable that the child should be placed in school 
at a younger age, it might be placed there satis- 
factorily at the age of six, or even a little younger. 
That would apply to either method. I should say, 
further, that wherever it is practicable for the child 
to receive instruction at an earlier age at home, or 
e"ven in a kindergarten with other children, not de- 
priving the child of that opportunity for play and 
free run which a child needs till it is seven years of 
age, the instruction should begin at an earlier age 
than the age I have mentioned as that at which it 
is proper for a child to be placed in school. 

13.417. You will admit that the degrees of the 
affliction of deaf-mutism vary very considerably ; 
under what heads would you classify deaf-mutes ? — 
The class should always be spoken of as the deaf ; 
the term " deaf-mute " should only be applied to 
such as are totally deaf and completely dumb. Be- 
sides -this sub-class we should then have the speak- 
ing deaf, the semi-speaking deaf, the speaking semi- 
deaf, the mute semi-deaf, the hearing mute, and the 
hearing semi-mute ; those last two classes being 
usually persons of feeble mental powers. I ven- 
tured to lay down that classification a few years 
ago in an article published in the International 
Review on the question, " How should the deaf 
" be educated ? " which had previously been submit- 
ted to a meeting of the American Social Science 
Association, and I think the classification has been 
accepted as one of some importance in discovering 
just how to deal with the differently constituted 
units of the great class usually spoken of as the 
deaf and dumb ; and by assigning the various mem- 
bers of the great class of the deaf to those various 
sub-classes very important results are obtained in 
the way of classifying them for different modes of 
instruction. If you will allow me I will explain a 
little the meaning of those sub-classes : "The speak- 
" ing deaf " would include a child who has learnt to 
speak and lost his hearing after he was five or six 
or seven years old. Of course he is perfectly deaf, 
but he speaks fairly well ; still in the eye of the law 
he is classed as a deaf-mute, for he cannot go to an 
ordinary school. Then the " semi speaking deaf " 
person is one who lost his hearing — we might say 
at perhaps two or three years of age — who retains 
the power of uttering disconnected words, but has 
not the power of expressing himself in connected 
language. He would have one advantage over th e 



absolute deaf-mute in starting on his course of in- 
struction, and it would probably be considered ad- 
-visable that having this limited power of speech he 
should in his course of instruction come uuder the 
oral method. Then we come to the " speaking semi- 
deaf," comprising cases where from disease a child 
might lose his hearing partially and still have the 
power of speech, who was so deaf as not to be able 
to enter an ordinary school, but who could hear 
■enough to be taught on the aural method. Then 
as an example of the cases that would come under 
the sub-class of " mute semi-deaf," I may refer to 
the case I spoke of yesterday : the boy who came 
into our institution deaf, as we supposed, from the 
first year of his infancy, but who had, as we discov- 
ered, an amount of hearing sufficient to be able to 
be taught on the aural method. Then the next sub- 
class, the "hearing mute," would comprise such 
■children as hear perfectly well but who do not 
speak ; such are almost invariably idiots. When 
we find a child who hears perfectly well but who 
<ioes not speak, and numbers of such are brought 
to me as deaf-mutes, I almost without exception 
have to send them to schools for feeble-minded 

Hearing mutes and hearing semi-mutes, when 
found to be dumb only because of feeble-minded- 
ness should not, speaking with precision, be re- 
garded as belonging among the deaf and dumb. I 
.have included them only because of misconceptions 
which seem to be deeply rooted in the uninstructed 
public mind. 

13.418. As I understand you, there are excep- 
tions ? — There are exceptions where through some 
malformation of the vocal organs there is an inabil- 
ity to speak ; one such case I can recall recently in 
the Washington Institution, where we were able to 
overcome the defect in the vocal organs and to 
teach the boy to speak very well after some little 

13.419. {Dr. Armitage.) Was that defect over- 
•come by a surgical operation ? — No ; there had been 
a partial paralysis of the vocal organs, a feebleness 
of muscular power and a disinclination on the part 
of the boy to make an* effort to speak. We en- 
couraged him to speak, and after some time he at- 
tained a reasonable degree of success' in speech. 

13.420. {Chairman.) It was a case of restoration 
of the voice which had been lost through partial 
paralysis ? — Yes ; the restoration of the voice being 
effected not by surgical or medical treatment but 
simply by patient instruction on the part of the 

13.421. {Dr. Armitage.) By encouraging the child 
to make use of the organ which had been long dis- 
used? — Yes. 

13.422. {Dr. Tindul Robertson.) Was the child 
before he came into the institution badly fed, and 
■did his physical condition improve pari passu with 
the recovery of his speech ? — Yes ; he was a child of 
an inebriate father, and he had grown up under 
-very poor surroundings. 

13.423. {Rev. W. Blomefield Sleight.) In schools 
where the manual system was taught, should not 
every endeavor be made to develop the power of 
speech of those who manifested any such power ? — 
That is what I have now for 19 years urged very 
earnestly, and what has come to be the accepted 
practice in our American schools. Manual schools 
which adopted that method would be no longer 
manual schools, they would then be combined 

13.424. {Chairman.) In the manual schools all 
those who were not absolutely deaf would be forced 
to continue on the pign and manual system, whereas 
they ought to be treated on the oral system ? — 
Yes, and if such pupils were allowed to remain in 
manual schools they would have a great wrong 

done them. I should deprecate very strongly their Dr. E. M. 
remaining any longer in manual schools. Gallaudet. 

13.425. {Rev. W. Blomefield Sleight.) What, in 10 Noy 18g6 

your opinion, is the greatest alleviation that can be '■ — 

given to the deaf and dumb ? — If I rightly under- 
stand the purport of the question, the greatest alle- 
viation which could be given to the deaf would be 

that their minds should be developed, and that they 
should be given the power of expressing themselves 
in verbal language by their fingers or by writing, and 
given the power of reading books. Then, when they 
have the vernacular of their country, they come in 
easy association and contact with those who can 
read and write, and are able to communicate by writ- 
ing. The giving of speech to the deaf, while it is 
admitted by everyone to be a very valuable thing, 
occupies a secondary position by the side of the men- 
tal development which may be brought about by a 
course of training which will open up to a deaf per- 
son all the stores of literature. Of course oral train- 
ing is not an essential thing in the education of the 
deaf — it is an important thing, but by no means a 
thing of such transcendent importance as gome pure 
oralists would have the world believe. 

13.426. By what method can a knowledge of writ- 
ten language be best imparted to the mass of the 
deaf? — To the mass of the deaf I should not hesitate 
to say that a knowledge of the use of written lan- 
guage can be best imparted by the use of the man- 
ual alphabet, by signs, and by writing. 

13.427. On referring to the American Annals of 
the Deaf and Dumb (January, 1881), I see you stated 
at the Milan Conference : " In my opinion it is by 
" the practice of the combined system that the great- 
" est advantage to the greatest number may be se- 
" cured." Is that still your opinion? —I have seen 
nothing to induce me to change or modify that 
opinion in the least. 

13.428. Can you give us the number of children 
that are being taught under the oral method, the 
number who are being taught under the manual 
method, and who are being taught under the com- 
bined system in your American schools 1 — In oral 
schools, 583 ; in manual schools, 430 ; in combined 
schools, 6,788. 

13.429. Did you before the oral system came into 
prominence teach speaking to semi-mutes in your 
institution, at Washington ? — I am sorry to say we 
did not ; we ought to have done so. 

13.430. Was any such teaching given in other 
schools ? — In a few of the manual schools in America 
teaching speech to the semi-deaf and the semi-mute 
was practised before the matter of oral instruction 
attained much prominence as it began to do 20 
years ago. 

13.431. {Chairman.) You said that there were 
only two schools at first? — Yes, both started in 

13.432. {Rev. W. Blomefield Sleight.) Could all 
deaf-mutes be taught to talk and read from the lips 
with success ? — In my opinion, decidedly not. 

13.433. In pure oral schools would you prohibit 
the use of signs altogether ? — I should not, for the 
reason that I am .very slow to attempt the impossi- 

13.434. Can you give us the proportion of chil- 
dren in the oral schools who were born deaf ? — I am 
not able to give the proportion of such children. 

13.435. Is it your opinion that it is easier to in- 
struct a child who was born deaf in the oral method 
than one who has become deaf ? — I should say that 
there are to be found children who were born deaf 
who learn to speak much more easily than other 
children who might be placed by their sides who 
were not born deaf ; but if you take the two sub- 
classes of those born deaf and those not born deaf 
then the sub-class of those not born deaf would 



10 Nov. 1886. 

Dr. B. M. learn to speak much more readily than the sub-class 
Gallaudet. of those born deaf. 

13.436. Taking them as a whole ? — Taking them 
' as a whole. 

13.437. What length of time is needed to educate 
a child under the manual method, and what length 
of time is necessary to educate a child under the 
oral method. I am speaking of ordinary school 
education ? — In my opinion, with a child of average 
intelligence, not less than seven years if the manual 
method were entirely used, and if the oral method 
were used I should add at least a year or two to 
reach the same results so far as the intellectual de- 

- velopment of the pupil is concerned. 

13.438. Are the oral schools ready to admit all 
children or do they practically make a selection ? — I 
am credibly informed that they practically make se- 
lections. I know as a matter of fact that in a num- 
ber of instances where application has been made for 
the admission of pupils into oral schools the appli- 
cation has been refused, that is to say, pupils have 
been refused admission into oral schools because, in 
the judgment of the teachers of such schools, they 
were not likely to succeed in speech I have had 
under my charge in Washington pupils who would 
prove that fact. 

13.439. How do children taught under the oral 
method communicate with those taught under the 
manual method ? — Naturally by signs and the man- 
ual alphabet. 

13.440. Principally by signs, or principally by the 
manual alphabet ? — Rather more by signs, I should 

13.441. By what system do deaf-mutes make them- 
selves best understood with the outside world ? — It 
goes without saying that a deaf person who may be 
taken as a shining success under the oral method 
may communicate with the outside world more 
readily and with less loss of time than one who is 
reduced to the necessity of writing ; but taking the 
whole number of deaf who have been orally edu- 
cated as compared with the whole number of deaf 
who have been only manually educated, in my opin- 
ion the deaf educated under the manual method 
would have the precedence over those educated un- 
der the oral method, taking them en masse/ that is 
to say, if those educated under the oral method un- 
dertook to make their communications through the 
means of speech, there would be so many of them 
that would speak imperfectly and read from the lips 
imperfectly that the average of those that would be 
able to communicate with any degree of success with 
the outside world would be less than the average of 
those educated under the manual method. 

13.442. Do you find that children who have been 
eduoated on the oral method, when they leave school 
are inclined to congregate together, and that those 
educated under the manual method are inclined to 
cling together? — The tendency, in the great ma- 
jority of cases, is for the two classes to mingle as 
one class after leaving school, those educated in oral 
schools mingling freely with those educated in man- 
ual schools. 

13.443. Then how do those who are orally taught 
converse with those who have been taught by the 
manual method 1 ? — Almost entirely by signs, sup- 
plemented by the manual alphabet. 

13.444. By which method do you consider the 
brightness and general happiness of a deaf child's 
life may be best promoted ? — I have said on a former 
occasion in America, that if, by a process which of 
course is impossible, I could be projected back to a 
period of existence which antedated my mother's 
life, and could choose for her, it being a necessity 
that she should be born deaf, whether, on the one 
hand, she should be educated upon the oral method, 
and should be denied through her life the use of 
signs and the manual alphabet, even allowing that 

she might be educated under the oral method with 
very great success, or whether, on the other hand, 
she should be well educated, so far as mental devel- 
opment was concerned, but should have no speech, 
and should be allowed the free use of signs, and the 
manual alphabet, considering her happiness, I should 
choose the latter unquestionably ; that is to say, 
that she should remain mute during her whole life, 
without the power of speech or lip-reading, but be 
allowed to have the use of signs and the manual al- 
phabet. My mother, as is known, was a deaf-mute,, 
and of course I observed her life, so far as I was able,, 
after I arrived at a sufficient age to be observant, 
and I have no hesitation in saying that in my judg- 
ment the happiness of a deaf person is greater who 
may be educated without speech, but still who uses 
the manual alphabet and signs, than one (and I hope 
I shall not be misunderstood) who has the power of 
speech and lip-reading but refuses to use signs and 
the manual alphabet. I know of such persons, and 
I am certain that their lives are more isolated, and 
they have a less degree of happiness in society and 
among their friends than those who without speech 
still use freely signs and the manual alphabet. I 
would not be understood, in giving this answer, to 
undervalue the usefulness of speech to the deaf, but 
understanding the question as put to me to have 
reference to the general happiness of the person, I 
should not hesitate to say that one taught under the 
manual method would have a great superiority over 
one taught on the pure oral method, with ail that 
that implies. 

13.445. Do you think that the heart, the imagina- 
tion, the soul, and the affections of a deaf mute, can 
ever be so deeply stirred by speech and lip-reading,, 
as by the manual method? — I do not think they can 
ever be so deeply stirred or strongly moved as by 
the use of gestures. 

13.446. Were you present at the conference of 
principals of American institutions in 1884? — I was. 

13.447. Did Mr. Williams produce specimens of 
the composition of oral and manual pupils ? — He did. 
I have made reference to that paper of Mr. Wil- 
liams', which is published yi the proceedings of that 
conference (which I have left with the Commission 
for them to rqfer to if they should wish to do so), in 
which that comparison is presented with very great 

13.448. At what age do you admit students to the 
Washington College ? — We have no absolute limit 
of age ; we require an entrance examination ; we 
have admitted students as young as between 15 and 
16 into the college ; we prefer that boys of so young 
an age should not generally be received ; we prefer 
that they should not enter under 16, and for the 
reason that the discipline of a college is naturally 
not so rigid as that of a primary school ; and we 
think that the age of 16 should be reached before 
boys should be allowed that latitude that is given 
to the students in a college. 

13.449. What percentage of your students take 
their degree ? — I think about 25 per cent, of those 
who enter the college graduate in the full course ; 
the others pursue the courses I spoke of yesterday ? 
they select special courses, cutting short their period 
of connection with the college to two or three years. 

13.450. Tou have at present 50 students? — About 

13.451. Can you tell the Commission how m^ny 
of those have been educated under the oral method, 

and how many under the manual method ? I 

think five or six of those have been educated in 
oral schools ; they came to us from oral schools j 
the remainder having mainly come from schools 
where the combined system is maintained. 

13.452. By what method do you interpret the lec- 
tures to them ? — By the use of gestures entirely. 



13.453. Do you or your professors ever deliver 
lectures to them viva voce ? — We never do ; we know 
it would be useless to attempt it even to those who 
read well from the lips. 

13.454. {Chairman.) You consider it would be a 
waste of time ? — We should not be understood at all; 
some few sentences might be understood, but no 
continuous lecture could be given to a dozen deaf- 
mutes orally, in my judgment, with any success. 

13.455. {Rev. W. B. Sleight.) Do not you con- 
sider that teaching by the lips is, after all, a gesture 
method ? — I have always called it a gesture method ; 
it is a method in which signs are used ; the signs are 
very small, and they are made by the vocal organs, 
but they are gestures for all that. The method of 
teaching by lip-reading is a sign method. Certain 
movements of the vocal organs are taught, in a per- 
fectly arbitrary manner, to mean certain things ; 
these signs are perfectly arbitrary, which the gest- 
ures and manual movements of those who have been 
taught by the sign and manual method are not ; 
they are pantomimic and ideographic, which the signs 
made by vocal organs never can be. 

. 13,456. Where did Mr. Magin receive his primary 
education, and by what method 1 — My impression 
is that he was at a school at Belfast. He was a 
teacher in a London school before he came to Wash- 
ington, but I think he was at Belfast. 

13,457. Where the sign and manual system was 
taught ? — Yes. He has no power of speech. 

13,458.* You mentioned that 40 who have gone out 
from your college are engaged as teachers ; are any 
of those 40 engaged as teachers in oral schools 1 — 
It is quite impossible that they should be, unless in 
oral schools they resort to some instruction in the 
sign and manual alphabet. It is impracticable for 
deaf persons to be teachers in oral schools. 

13.459. Does not the industrial training which 
you give your pupils somewhat interfere with their 
education ? — In my opinion, not unless it is made to 
occupy too large a proportion of the time from day 
to day ; it could be made, of course, to occupy an 
amount of time which would seriously militate against 
the proper advancement of the pupil in the intellec- 
tual department ; but, ordinarily speaking, the 
amount of time that would be given to industrial 
work in our schools would not interfere with very 
good progress being made in the school. 

13.460. Of what real value do you consider speech 
and speech-reading to be to deaf-mutes in the pros- 
secution of their callings in after-life * — I think that, 
in the frequently arising circumstances in which they 
may be placed, the power to speak and read from 
the lips of others gives them a decided advantage 
over those not able to speak or read from the lips ; 
it would be very difficult to state to what extent that 
would be an advantage. It goes without saying, 
that a deaf person who has the power of expressing 
himself so that strangers, or even those who are not 
strangers, can understand him pretty readily and 
reading from the lips, has a great advantage over 
one who cannot do that. At the same time it is 
only right to say that there are a vast number of 
deaf-mutes living now who have been educated with- 
out speech who have got on in the world with entire 
success ; who have maintained themselves and their 
families, and have even amassed wealth ; they have, 
in fact, practically succeeded in all the essential ele- 
ments of success in life without speech. I think, 
however, that any such deaf-mutes who had had the 
power of speech added to their other attainments 
would have had an advantage in their contest with 
the world. 

13.461. You mentioned three cases of young men 
doing very successfully in after-life who had been 
trained by the sign method ; could you give cases 
that have been taught on the oral system doing so 
successfully ! — I know cases of young men who have 

been taught in the oral method who are now suc- 
ceeding very well and doing admirable work, main- 
taining themselves in a very creditable manner. 

13.462. How do you consider the condition of 
the educated deaf compares with that of others of 
a similar station in the matters of, say, thrift, indus- 
try, perseverance, and honesty? — I think it com- 
pares very favorably with that of other persons of 
their station : possibly on the whole they get on bet- 
ter than the mass of persons do of their station in 
life, for the reason that their training in special 
schools has been of a character to develop in them 
those peculiarities of character and constitution that 
tend to success ; in other words, one may say, that 
the training in the special schools for the deaf tends 
to raise the general standard of capability. 

13.463. I believe I am right in stating that, with 
regard to most of the deaf and dumb institutions 
in our country, no industrial workshops are attached 
to them ; from your experience in America, do you 
think that it is of use to the deaf and dumb to have 
these industrial workshops ? — In America I think so. 
I am not perhaps sufficiently well acquainted with 
the conditions of labor in this country, and the 
difficulties which attend the entering into various 
trades by young people who would be apprenticed, 
to be able to express an opinion as to what would 
be the desirable thing in this country. In general, 
however, the opinion is very decided in America 
that it is well to give instruction in industrial pur- 
suits while the pupils are at school. 

13.464. Would it be possible for a debate or a 
discussion to be carried on among deaf-mutes by 
articulation ? — I have never heard of such a discus- 
sion or debate, and I doubt whether it is practica- 
ble. I have heard of conventions of deaf-mutes 
meeting in Germany where the oral method alone is 
practised, and that they invariably carry on their 
discussions by gestures. 

13.465. I was going to ask you some questions 
on the religious question, but I think Mr. Owen has 
touched pretty fully upon that subject ; but I will 
just put this question : Do you think that the hearts 
of your audience, of your congregation, could ever 
be as deeply touched by the oral system as they can 
by the manual ; in a sermon I am speaking of now 1 — 
I feel very certain that they could not ; in fact I have 
never yet known the case where any body of deaf 
persons sufficiently large to be called an audience 
could be spoken with at any great length orally at 
all. I do not think it can be done. I know that in 
some of the oral schools there are religious exercises 
conducted orally for a certain number of the pupils, 
and they usually consist of reading passages of 
scripture, the offering of prayers, which are more 
or less familiar, and perhaps a simple exposition 
which is understandable in part only, even by those 
who are the best lip-readers. 

13.466. In your opinion could higher and larger 
results be obtained by the combined system than by 
any single method ? — That is my opinion very de- 
cidedly. I have maintained that on all occasions 
for a number of years. 

13.467. One question occurred to me to-day : are 
any aural cases found among those who have be- 
come deaf ? — Yes, quite a number ; for in the in- 
stances where deafness is caused by disease, it not 
infrequently happens that the organ of hearing is 
not entirely destroyed, but the hearing is only par- 
tially destroyed, so that in quite a number of cases 
where the aural or auricular education of the deaf 
is possible, it is true that deafness has supervened 
as the result of accident or disease. 

13.468. The progress of disease may have stopped 
the ears f — Yes. As, for example, with scarlet fever ; 
the tympanum may have been perforated, and the 
organs of the ear may have been disturbed, but not 
so far destroyed as to render hearing impossible. 

Br. E. M. 

10 Nov. 1886. 



Dr. E. M. 13,469. Do you approve of deaf and dumb persons 
Gallaudet. being employed as teachers in institutions ? — I do 

give my approval to the employment, in a reasonable 

10 Nov. 1886. proportion, of deaf persons as teachers of the deaf, 
and I think that when this proportion is not too 
great, this policy is to be decidedly preferred over 
that of employing hearing persons for the entire 
corps of instruction, and for the reason that the 
deaf, having had themselves a personal experience 
of the difficulties that surround the education of 
the deaf, are, in many respects, better able to teach 
persons of their own class than others who may be 
equally intelligent and equally capable who are 
without the experimental knowledge. I favor de- 
cidedly the employment of a certain proportion of 
deaf teachers in schools for the deaf. 

13.470. I will put one more question. I will 
quote from the same article as before in the Amer- 
ican Annals for 1881. You say : " I do not fearto 
" predict that the system of the future, that on 
" which all opposing elements will unite, and in the 
" upholding of which all hostility and animosity 
" will be transformed into generous emulation, is 
" the combined system ;" is that your opinion 
still ? — That is my opinion veiy decidedly, and I 
have had some recent reasons for strengthening 
that opinion, and for the entertaining of that hope 
as concerns other countries than my own. And I 
may add that I consider that the element of harmo- 
nious action which is found in the teaching of the 
deaf in America seems to have added a greater 
strength to the cause ; that when teachers of the 
deaf in various methods are fighting among them- 
selves, the public has less interest in sustaining the 
work than when they are acting in harmony. 

13.471. (Dr. Campbell^ In the first instance, I 
would like to put a question which I have been re- 
quested to put, and I will do so before forgetting 
it, and that is, whether you have ever known a deaf 
and dumb person to speak so perfectly that you 
would be unable to distinguish him from an ordi- 
nary speaking person ? — I have known a very few 
such persons. I was very much impressed when in 
Rotterdam, a number of years ago, with a pupil of 
Mr. Hirsch, who is a very eminent teacher of the 
oral method, of the name of Polano, who was born 
deaf, and who spoke in a manner that was simply 
marvellous. I had a long conversation with him. 
I walked with him arm in arm through the streets 
in rather a hurried manner to catch a train for 
which I was a little belated, and to get to which I 
Was unable to find a carriage when I wanted it, and, 
to my great surprise, we were able to. carry on the 
conversation with our faces very slightly turned to- 
wards one another, at least, with my face very 
slightly turned towards his. He caught the expres- 
sion of my speech from a side view of my mouth, 
and I was able to understand him with perfect ease ; 
and I can say of him that his speech seemed to me 
like the speech of a person who had always heard. 

13.472. ( Chairman.') Did he speak in English * — 
He spoke in German. 

13.473. And do you know whether he was deaf 
from early life 1 — He was born deaf, and had a sis- 
ter born deaf. That is a marked exception. I have 
also the acquaintance of a lady in America who has 
been taught to speak. I think she is a congenitally 
deaf person, and she was largely taught to speak 
by her own mother, who was very earnest and pa- 
tient with her. She speaks in a voice that suggests 
her being a foreigner. Her voice is not quite natu- 
ral ; her pronunciation is a little peculiar ; but she 
speaks with great fluency, and reads from the lips 
with great readiness, and altogether might converse 
with you for half an hour, and you would never 
dream she was deaf. She would stand in my own 
country as, I think, the most accomplished speaker 
and lip-reader among deaf persons I have ever 
known ; and she had a private education, not in a 

school at all. But such instances are really very 
rare among the orally-taught deaf. 

13.474. With regard to the blind, I hold that 
the blind themselves in using methods and so forth, 
are really the best judges in regard to the best ap- 
paratus, and specially as to things that apply to the 
touch and so forth. I should like to inquire, taking 
the deaf themselves, where they have been well 
taught both by the oral system and by the manual 
method, what the opinion is among that class in re- 
gard to the best method of teaching their class ; is 
it that the combined is the best, or do they gener- 
erally take either one side or the other * — I have 
met many deaf young men who have come to our 
college from the oral schools, and I have yet to re- 
member to have learnt from any one of them that 
he held the opinion that the oral method was the 
only method that should be used in the education 
of the deaf. I think, without an exception, I may 
say I am sure without an exception, among those 
young men who have come to our college from the 
oral schools (and naturally before they get to our 
college course they are adults, and their judgment 
is worthy of considerable weight), their opinion 
would be in favor of a combined system which 
would include oral schools, even some pure oral 
schools, for those who might unquestionably suc- 
ceed well on the oral method, at the same time it 
would require manual schools and manual teaching 
for a considerable proportion who would not be able 
to succeed on the oral method ; and the* same view 
would be held by those who have come ho us from 
manual or from combined schools. In short, I think 
I may speak for the educated deaf in America, and 
say that the weight of their opinion is in favor of 
the combined system of educating the deaf. 

13.475. In regard to the subject of marriage be- 
tween deaf-mutes, you remarked that where both 
parties had an hereditary tendency to deafness you 
would discourage it ; would you not go further and 
say that if either of the parties had an hereditary 
tendency, I mean from their parents, and it was 
known that it was in the family you would discour- 
age their marrying even with an ordinary person ? — 
It would depend very much on circumstances. I 
should say that taking a person whose family had 
the tendency to deafness, perhaps not very strongly 
pronounced, suppose that person had the opportu- 
nity of marrying another of a family where there 
was not the slightest tendency to deafness and 
where there was health and strength and vigor, there 
would be a considerable presumption that such a 
marriage might tend to eliminate the tendency to 
deafness ; in other words, the man being the one 
that belonged to the family where deafness existed, 
the woman being of a strong and vigorous constitu- 
tion, the probability would be strong that their 
children would not be deaf. So that it would de- 
pend on the circumstances of the individual case. 
It might be perhaps said in general that such per- 
sons might be advised not to marry at all, but I can 
easily conceive of a case arising where that would 
seem a very cold-hearted piece of advice to give 

13.476. I quite admit that, but the great point is 
that where there is this tendency unless the circum- 
stances are very favorable and such as you state 
them, there the tendency would be to hand down 
the calamity. I should like in the next place to know 
whether among the educators of the deaf and dumb 
in America the same thing prevails as among the 
blind in this respect, that so far as possible we should 
increase the public feeling against terming the 
schools for the deaf-mutes and the blind, and so forth, 
charity schools ? The idea I want to convey is this, 
that it is detrimental to the class ; for instance, it 
would be advantageous to the blind if their educa- 
tion was regarded in the ordinary sense, not as a 
charity, but as a part of the great system of the edu- 


cation of the country, as it is in some of the States 
I know, and that is growing. Is that so with the 
education of the deaf and dumb? — The instructors 
of the deaf seem very strongly disposed to ask that 
legislators and the public shall look upon the edu- 
cation of the deaf as a matter not at all of charity, 
but as a pure matter of right when it is admitted in 
any State or Nation that general public education 
is the right of the people ; and they feel it so much 
that they have in several instances sharply criti- 
cized the census officers for having the particulars 
relating to the deaf classified with those relating to 
the insane and even the criminal, which is often 
done. That answers your question as to the opin- 
ion and feeling of the teachers of the deaf in America 
on that subject. They look upon it as a matter 
purely of educational interest, and one that should 
be so regarded at all points. 

13.477. And for that reason the whole idea of 
asylums, and the consideration of charity, is as far 
as possible being obliterated ? — That is the fact, that 
the word asylum is very offensive to the vast ma- 
jority of teachers and officers of institutions for the 
deaf in America, and to the deaf themselves, convey- 
ing an idea which is wholly inconsistent with what 
is actually done in the institutions for the teaching 
of the deaf. There are but two institutions now 
that retain the name of asylum, the old parent school 
at Hartford, which, I am very sorry to say, holds on 
to the name, and one in Texas. I hope the day is 
not far distant when the oldest and most dignified 
of the institutions, and I will not say the least dig- 
nified, but one of the younger, will remove that 
word from the corporate name of their institutions. 

13.478. Would there not have to be Government 
action to effect that at Hartford, they having origi- 
nally received a large grant from the Federal Gov- 
ernment, they would have to get the consent of the 
Federal Government to the change of name ; is not 
that the reason ? — That may be so in part. A mere 
petition to Congress, I believe, would be all that 
would be needed to authorize the asylum at Hart- 
ford to change its name. And I think the State 
Legislature of Connecticut could do it. The insti- 
tution is incorporated solely under the laws of Con- 
necticut, and when the Government of the United 
States gave a large tract of land, this donation was 
given to a corporation existing under the laws of 
the State of Connecticut only. 

13.479. Was that donation of land in the case of 
Hartford given on the condition that the deaf and 
dumb" from other States should be taken at 100 dol- 
lars per annum to be educated in the school ?— I do 
not think any such condition was attached. As a 
matter of fact for many years the institution at Hart- 
ford did receive pupils from Connecticut and from 
the other States, and, in fact, from any, on the pay- 
ment of 100 dollars per head, because from the in- 
vested fund they had money enough to make up the 
difference ; but I do not think any law was passed. 
They changed the requisition in later years ; they 
require now more than 100 dollars. 

13.480. I should like to know whether there is any 
tendency among deaf-mutes more than ordinary per- 
sons to secret vices, whether your attention has ever 
been called to that ? — I would answer that, so far as 
I am able to speak, I think not. That there is that 
tendency, of course, goes without saying, and in an 
establishment where many children and youths are 
brought together there must be much watchfulness 
to reduce the practice of such vices to the lowest 
possible point. Human nature is human nature, and 
I do not know that there is any more of it in the deaf 
than there is in other people. 

13.481. {Chairman.) I should like to ask you 
some further questions. You told us that you have 
visited most of the institutions for the deaf and 
dumb, both in England and on the Continent, and 


you nave visited specially the oral schools, where j)r. E. M. 

the German system is adopted ? — Quite a number GaUaudet. 

of them. 

_ 10 Nov. 1886. 

13.482. Do you think that the oral schools in Ger- 

many are more advanced in the success of their teach- 
ing than in England and in America, as far as your 
knowledge goes ? — I am really not able to speak 

from a recent examination of those schools. 

13.483. How long ago was it that you visited 
them? — It runs back now to my visit of 1867, so 
that I am not able to speak of recent advances in 

13.484. I think that you have visited later than 
that date the schools at Milan ? — Yes, at the time of 
the convention, six years ago. 

13.485. Did you find the oral system there carried 
out to a very full degree ? — I found it in a very high 
state of perfection. 

13.486. From your visits both to Germany and 
Italy, do you think that the German or the Italian 
language lends itself more readily to the oral 
system than English does? — Speaking in a rising 
way of the facility and adaptedness of language for 
the purposes of oral instruction, I think that the 
German language is probably best fitted for success 
in speech of the deaf ; the Italian would follow, the 
French would follow that, and the English would be 
found the most difficult of the four. That is my 
experience, and I think that that view is generally 
held. German is the easiest, in fact, there every 
letter is pronounced. Then follows the Italian ; that 
has a great advantage in its liquid sounds, and its 
open expression of the mouth, especially in lip-read- 
ing. Then again the French is less difficult than 
English. I believe that view would be sustained 
generally, and may be taken as one reason why in 
schools of English-speaking countries it should not 
be absolutely insisted upon that all the deaf should 
be educated under the oral system. It is an abso- 
lutely practical question. 

13.487. Then I understand you generally from 
your evidence to say, that, although the combined 
system is the one that is gaining most ground in 
America, yet it is in consequence of the older schools 
having adopted the oral system more or less, that 
you have formed that opinion? — Quite so. It is 
true that the effort made 20 years ago by the pro- 
moters of the oral teaching, which was at first ridi- 
culed and resisted by very many of the old teachers 
in schools where the manual method was used, has 
resulted most beneficially to the welfare of the whole 
mass of the deaf, and that the managers of the old 
manual schools have been compelled in many in- 
stances, often at first against their will, to recognize 
the value of oral teaching to at least a large portion 
of the deaf, and so they have come at length to ac- 
cept it very heartily. 

13.488. Are the schools in the United States for 
the deaf and dumb all conducted and built on as 
large and as liberal a scale as those at Washington ? 
— Very many of them are. I have visited within 
two or three years the schools of the South, (that 
is a portion of the country which you are aware, 
suffered very much from the war 20 years ago), 
and I was extremely gratified to notice that the 
Legislatures even in those States had been ready to 
make handsome provision for the education of the 
deaf, in putting up commodious buildings, provid- 
ing large grounds, introducing the oral teaching, 
and generally reaching results that would compare 
favorably with the results of any part of our country. 
In the richer States in the west, and the north, and 
the east, there are many other establishments that 
are provided for as to grounds and buildings on a 
scale quite as commodious and extensive as the in- 
stitution at Washington. 

13, 489. In all those cases is the ground itself and 
the grant for the building provided at the expense 



Dr. E. M. 


10 Nov. 1886. 

of the State, or is it in any case, or generally by private 
munificence ? — The practice differs in different parts 
of the country. In the State of New York, the re- 
cent policy has been for the State to decline to ap- 
propriate money for the purchase of ground, or very 
much for the erection of buildings. They have been 
provided by the donations of residents of the locality 
in which it was proposed to establish these institu- 
tions ; and after they are established and provided 
for as to the grounds and buildings, then the State 
under a general law, gives a per capita allowance to 
all the schools in the State for the deaf. 

13.490. We had evidence from Mr. Hall, that New 
York gives a subsidy of 20,000 dollars a year to the 
education of the blind ; do you know at all whether 
the same system of large grants of that kind applies 
to the education of the deaf and dumb ? — No, it does 
not, and for this reason : the institution of which 
Mr. Hall speaks, in New York, is a State institution, 
pure and simple. There are no such institutions for 
the deaf in New York. 

13.491. Is there not one at New York for the deaf 
on the oral system ? — Yes, but it is a corporate in- 
stitution. This one for the blind stands rather by 
itself as a State institution, under the control of the 
State Legislature. Purely State institutions are 
those which the State absolutely controls ; corpo- 
rate institutions are those which the State may as- 
sist to the extent I have described. 

13.492. My question was whether there is any 
similar grant by New York to the deaf and dumb, 
to that which is made to the blind 1 — I am quite 
sure there is not. 

13.493. {Dr. Campbell.) In these corporate insti- 
tutions where the State pays for the education of the 
blind, in most of them, not in all, the State has the 
power of appointing a certain number of the gov- 
erning body, has it not ? — That is the fact. The en- 
tity of the corporation exists, the autonomy, but 
there comes into it as there does at the institution 
in Washington, this element of State supervision by 
the presence of directors on the part of the State. 

13.494. {Mr. Johnson.) I suppose as a general 
principle the State goes hand in hand with benevo- 
lence ? — Yes. 

13.495. {Chairman.) But what I wanted to know 
is this : With regard to New York. I think you 
told us that there is only a pure oral school at New 
York ? — Do you mean the city or the State ? 

13.496. I have got in my notes that the leading 
school in New York was a pure oral one ; I have not 
a note as to whether that applied to the State or to 
the city ? — That is not the case in the city. The 
leading school in the city is one that is sustained on 
the combined system. There is a very flourishing 
oral school in the city which has 200 pupils, but 
the other has as many as 400. 

13.497. I wanted to elicit by my question, whether 
side by side in a large city like New York there were 
the means of education on the two systems ? — Quite 

13.498. Therefore, of course, nobody would be 
forced to go either to the one system or to the other, 
but he would have the option of both ? — Yes ; and 
in the whole of New England there is a legislative 
provision which makes it possible for the parent of 
any deaf child to elect whether that child shall go 
to Northampton, where there is a pure oral school, 
or to Hartford, where there is a combined-system 
school ; they may choose ; and it has very often been 
the case that parents having had their children in 
the oral school for a year or two, and not finding 
their progress satisfactory, have placed them in the 
other. They change from one to the other. 

13.499. They have that power ?— They have that 

13.500. Do you think that it should be attempted 
to teach all the children the oral system, and that 

in the case of those who are failures, after a certain 
time it should be given up and they should be taught 
the manual system ; so that all should have the op- 
portunity of being tested as to their capabilities of 
learning the oral system ; do you think that that is 
desirable? — My opinion is very earnest on that 
point. I do urge it strongly, and I am glad to be 
able to say that opinion is gaining ground very much 
in my own country ; and I think the time is very near 
when persistent efforts will be made to give to eveiy 
child the opportunity of learning to speak, and that 
those efforts will only be intermitted or given up 
altogether when it seems to be certain that the child 
will not be able to succeed in speech. 

13.501. Assuming that it is desirable that the, oral 
system should be taught if it can be taught it would 
be quite possible to teach every child, say for one 
or two years, on the oral system, and yet not lose 
any material portion of the time available for in- 
struction. If the child was found to be unfitted for 
the oral system it might then go on at the age of 
nine to the manual system, and not be in a worse 
position than children were before under the old 
system with the advantage that in that way every 
child would have its capacity for speech tested ? — I 
can only give my assent in this qualified manner, 
that I should hardly lay down a limit of two or three 
years as the period for which it is necessary that the 
oral system should be taught ; because sometimes 
in six months it might be very plainly shown that 
the child was making no progress at all ; in other 
cases it could not be settled in six months, or there 
would be a certain measure of success that would sug- 
gest that the effort should be continued. And then 
the same thing may happen with the deaf as we find 
happens in our education of the blacks in America. 
We find in many instances that when the blacks be- 
gin their course of instruction their minds develop 
very rapidly, and after two or three years they reach 
a certain point and seem incapable of going on fur- 
ther. That is the case with the black race. So in 
the case of the deaf, it might be that for a year or 
two the deaf child might do very well in speech, and 
then it would seem to be impossible for him to go 
any further. With that qualification I would assent 
to the views suggested in your question. 

13.502. Would you carry out that in the com- 
bined system by a system simply of separate classes, 
or of separate instruction in a separate building, and 
draft them off from the one building to the other as 
their education required ? — My impression would be 
that the result could be reached in either way. The 
separate building and the separate school, for in- 
stance, such as I have spoken of in Philadelphia, 
would seem to be suggested only in cases which 
from the very start might be counted as quite hope- 
ful cases. Let them be placed at once in a school 
of that sort ; but in the matter of determining whether 
others are going to succeed or not, I think that ex- 
periment could be made and results ascertained 
either by instruction in a class or in some other way. 
In a variety of ways the test might be made. I do 
not think it is necessary to lay down one rigid 
method of making that test, if only the test is faith- 
fully and fully made. 

13.503. I gathered from what you said that you 
would not forbid the use of signs in connection with 
the early teaching of the oral system ? — So far from 
it, I should say that the test can be certainly in my 
judgment better made by placing the teacher in pos- 
session of any means of communication that is free 
and full between the child and the teacher. So that 
in my opinion the use of signs during these experi- 
mental years is far from being detrimental, it even 
assists the teacher ; and I have seen oral teachers 
carry a pupil right over a difficulty in speech by the 
judicious use of gesture ; so that I have no question, 
but that in oral teaching the use of signs is often of 
great assistance. 



13.504. (Mr. Johnson.) Can the pure oral Bys- 
tem according to your American view be carried on 
side by side with that of manual signs or the alpha- 
bet ; you are aware that it is on the pure oral method 
that so much controversy has arisen in England ? — 
I certainly say that classes in which the oral method 
(if I may use that form of expression instead of 
" the pure oral method ") is rigidly adhered to, may 
exist side by side in institutions or schools with 
classes where signs are used and more or less inter- 
change of the use of signs goes on, and at the same 
time extremely satisfactory results in speech be at- 
tained. There is evidence of that in many of our 
best schools. 

13.505. (Chairman.) I should be glad if you could 
give us the daily routine of teaching and the play- 
hours and meals in your primary school and also in 
your college at Washington ; could you hand that in, 
or is it stated in any report ? — With regard to the 
college I can give it to you now. In the college, reci- 
tations begin in the morning at a quarter past eight, 
and they are continued in lengths of three-quarters 
of an hour each. 

13.506. What time do the students rise in the 
morning ? — They breakfast at seven. The first reci- 
tation is at a quarter past eight, the recitations con- 
tinuing after that for three-quarters of an hour 
duration, with 15 minutes interval between one reci- 
tation and the next, until mid-day, when at half past 
12 their principal meal is served. Occasionally a 
recitation is had in the afternoon from two to three, 
when it is necessary. That is not always done. 
When the arrangement of classes makes it possible 
to have all the actual recitations during the fore-_ 
noon a study time is prescribed from half past one 
until half past three in the afternoon, when the 
students are expected to be in their rooms. 

13.507. Have they no recreation until after din- 
ner? — The recitations end at 12. They go into the 
dining-room at half past 12j and usually spend half 
an hour in the dining-room and have half an hour for 
recreation, until they go into their rooms to study 
at half past one. Then from half past three till six 
o'clock they are quite at liberty, with the exception 
of an hour taken on four days of the week for physi- 
cal training at the gymnasium, which of course is 
exercise for them. At six o'clock their supper is 
served, and from half past seven to ten they are 
supposed to be at study. There is a little latitude 
allowed with reference to that ; they may be en- 
gaged in writing letters part of the time, or some- 
times they have permission to be absent in order to 
pay social visits ; but those are the prescribed 

13.508. Will you explain to us exactly what " rec- 
itations " are ? — " Recitations " means in the college 
the meeting of the instructor with the class for the 
purpose of examination in a portion which has been 
prescribed in some text-book, and the time is spent 
in examining the class to see whether they have ac- 
quired an understanding of that portion of the text- 
book. These examinations go on from day to day. 

13.509. In fact, it is question and answer on the 
part of the teacher and students? — Yes. These 
differ from the exercises of the class-room, as they 
would be understood in an ordinary school, where 
the scholars are expected to be in the class-room 
with their teacher and do their study there, and have 
explanations from the teacher there, and so forth. 
The studying of the students in the college is all done 
in their private rooms, and they come to the class- 
room for this purpose of recitation and meeting their 
instructor, and showing that they have properly 
mastered the portions assigned for study in the 

13.510. What proportion of those instructions are 
given by the finger-language, and what by signs ? 
Of course there are some things that cannot be ex- 
pressed by signs ? — Very little is done in the recita- 

tions of the college by signs. The greater part of Dr. E. M. 
the communication between the pupils and the Oallaudet. 

teacher is by the manual alphabet. Some portions 

of it, where the pupil is a good lip-reader and 10 Noy - 188 6 - 
speaker, are given orally, but it is found to be diffi- 
cult under that method to have the attention of the 
entire class to everything that is said by pupil and 
instructor as well ; so that the manual alphabet and 
writing on large slate tablets, or writing theses on 
paper, may be said to be the means used mainly for 
giving the question and answer in recitation. 

13.511. Do you make use of looking-glasses in 
your class-rooms to assist the view of the teachers ? 
— In oral teaching we do. 

13.512. And in all cases they are in separate 
rooms for oral teaching? — Yes, we have no two 
classes in one room. 

13.513. What proportion of the teachers are of 
the first class or second class ; that is to say, what 
proportion of the teachers in your college are upper 
teachers, and what proportion lower teachers ? — In 
our college we have an active faculty of six profes- 
sors, including myself. My own professorship is 
that of moral and political science. Then there are 
three regular — we term them — professors and two 
assistant professors. That is the only division of 
rank in the college. These two assistant profes- 
sors are graduates of the college, deaf men who 
speak very well, and they will probably in a year or 
two be promoted to be professors. 

13.514. Are they deaf men who have had speech 
and then become deaf? — Yes. 

13.515. Can you tell us the remuneration of the 
professors generally in the college ? — In our college 
the professor who ranks next myself, and now acts 
as president in my absence, receives 3,000 dollars 
and a house. Two other professors receive 2,400 
dollars each and a house. Of the assistant profes- 
sors, one receives 1,500 dollars and a house, who is a 
man with a family ; and the other, who is a bachelor, 
receives 1,500 dollars and a suite of rooms, and is 
boarded in the family of the institution. 

13.516. There are no totally congenitally deaf 
professors ? — Not in the college. 

13.517. But in the primary school are there ? — In 
the primary school we have one. 

13.518. Is your primary school, in connection 
with this institution at Washington, a fair sample of 
the other deaf and dumb schools in America in its 
methods of teaching ; I mean is it a pattern that is 
followed ? — I may say this, that the general method 
and arrangement of classes and giving instruction 
is quite the same as prevails in the State institu- 
tions, the primary schools, throughout the country. 

13.519. Could you give us in the same way the daily 
routine of a combined school ? — In the tables which 
I have referred to on one or two occasions, contained 
in the January number of the Annals of this 
year, that is stated very fully with reference to each 

13.520. When I was speaking of your visit to the 
Continent, there was one question which I omitted 
to ask you. You have before referred to the Con- 
vention at Milan. I should like to know whether, 
having been present there, you can inform us what 
the constitution of the Convention was. You have, 
perhaps, already given a description of it elsewhere 
which you might read to us ? — I referred to it, and 
said in general that it was not looked upon as a rep- 
resentative body, but I am able to say, quoting from 
an article which I published after the meeting at 
Milan (which took place in 1880) that "out of 
" the 164 active members of the Convention, 87, or 
" a clear majority of 10, were from Italy ; that 56 
" were from France, making, with the Italian mem- 
" bers, a majority of seven-eighths ; that of the 
" eight English delegates, six were ardent articula- 
" tionists, and only two at all favorable to any other 



Dr. E. M. " method ; a proportion, which entirely misreprd- 
Oallaudet. " sents the present " (in 1880) " sentiment of En- 

" glish teachers of the deaf ; that the only truly 

10 Not. 188 6. " representative delegation present was that from the 
" United States, consisting of five members duly 
" accredited to the Milan meeting by a conference 
" of principals of American Institutions for the 
" Deaf and Dumb held at Northampton last May, 
" in which the supporters of the several methods of 
" instruction now made use of in this country (in- 
" eluding all that are known in the world) were 
" assembled in friendly council ; that the American 
" delegates represented 51 schools, containing over 
" 6,000 pupils, a greater number than was repre- 
" sented by all the other 159 delegates taken to- 
" gether ; that the Convention allowed the Ameri- 
" can delegates to be out- voted in the proportion of 
" nearly 10 to one by the representatives of the two 
" schools of Milan, they being accorded 46 seats in 
" the Convention." I think that would be sufficient 
to make it evident that the Convention at Milan was 
in no sense a representative body ; it was an assem- 
blage in which it happened that those who were in 
favor of the oral method were largely in the ascend- 
ant at the beginning. There were two very large 
oral schools at Milan which had produced remark- 
ably good results, and those two schools were ac- 
corded 46 seats in the Convention ; and that had 
this result, that on a vote, if any vote was taken 
affecting the pure oral system, the remonstrance of 
any of us from America who felt that the pure oral 
method was not the best for all the deaf, was of no 

13.521. Are you aware at all of the steps that 
were taken by the permanent committee for endeav- 
oring to obtain a convention of a representative 
character on that occasion ? — I am well aware that 
the invitation of the committee which went out be- 
fore this meeting at Milan was extended to all 
teachers of the deaf of institutions of every sort and 
every method in all countries. 

13.522. {Mr. St. John Ackers.) So that every- 
body had an opportunity of coming 1 ? — Most certainly 
everybody had an opportunity of coming, but when 
we from America, five in number, had come (and we 
could not bring a hundred from America owing to 
the shortness even of an American purse) and we 
were in a position actually to represent the whole 
body of institutions in America, as I have said in 
my article there, representing some 6,000 pupils 
and over 50 schools, we were allowed five votes and 
no more in making up the conclusion which was 
reached by this Milan Convention. The invitation 
was broad enough to every one, but when it was 
found that from America there were five only who 
represented this large constituency, there was no 
motion made to limit the representation from Italy 
or from France, or even from the schools in Milan, 
where 46 persons were allowed each to cast his bal- 
lot, and determine the results, as against five votes 
which we had when we had a backing of 6,000 pu- 
pils, as compared with 300 of theirs. I think it is 
evident that, while the invitation was broad enough 
to the Convention, when it came to be constituted 
and it was found who were there, and what they 
represented, no notice whatever was taken of the 
fact that the five American delegates, or the eight 
English delegates, represented a far larger, and 
stronger constituency than these Italians and French 
delegates who outvoted all the rest. 

13.523. (Chairman.) I think you have furnished 
us in this report of your college with various facts 
with regard to gymnastic training ; I understand 
that you have, not very long ago, fitted out a com- 
plete gymnasium ? — You will find a drawing of it 
in that number. 

13.524. And you have also a large swimming 
school and two bowling alleys ? — Yes. 

13,525. Do you find that the health of the in- 
mates of the college has been improved since those 
have been added to the institution ? — We find that 
there has been a remarkable improvement, both 
physically and morally. A moment's reflection 
may show you that when a lot of youths like that 
have the opportunity of working off their physical 
strength and vigor and steam in gymnastic exer- 
cises, they are much more amenable to discipline ; 
and so we find the effect to be wonderfully helpful 
both from a physical and moral point of view ; and 
I may, by relating a little incident, show how 
marked that result has been. At an anniversary 
which occurred two years ago when the first class 
of our college which had gone completely through 
the college course of gymnastic training, appeared 
before the public, Mr. Bayard, now our Secretary 
of State in America, and then a director of the in- 
stitution, was on the platform, and after the exer- 
cises were over he said to me : " I want to ask you 
" a question. I was very much struck with the fact 
" that every young man who came up on to this 
" platform to deliver his address at graduation and 
" to receive his degree, came up with a firm, manly, 
" vigorous step. Now, I have noticed in ordinary 
" colleges that a certain number will be men who 
" look feeble and delicate." I said : " You remem- 
" ber this is the first class that has been entirely 
" through its course in gymnastic training." The 
fact was that there were two young men among 
that number who entered the college apparently 
soon to die. One with a hollow, flat chest and no 
muscles at all seemed to be a candidate for an early 
grave from consumption. He came out as well- 
rounded and vigorous as any of the others. And I 
cannot speak in too strong terms of the importance 
of gymnastic training for the deaf. 

13.526. I think you have kept some statistics 
with regard to the muscular improvement and 
measurement round the.chest, also, of some of your 
pupils ? — Yes, we have done so* : and they will be 
found in the twenty-fifth of the annual reports 
bound up in the volumes I have left with you. 

13.527. Will you kindly refer us to the passage ? — 
There is a paragraph in our report made in June, 
1882, with reference to some of the results of phys- 
ical training. The paragraph is as follows : " The 
" results growing out of the work done in our new 
" gymnasium have been most gratifying, whether 
" they are regarded from a moral or a physical 
" point of view. The morale of the- institution was 
" never as high as during the past year. The in- 
" stances where discipline became necessary have 
" been very few as compared with former years, and 
" the reactive effects of an improved physique on 
" the mental and moral faculties has been markedly 
" favorable in many instances. During the six 
" months from November 1 to May 1, all the stu- 
" dents of the college and the older boys from the 
" primary school were required to spend four hours 
" a week in active gymnastic exercises, viz., an hour 
" on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday of 
" each week. These exercises consisted of dumb- 
" bell practice, in concert, intended to open the 
" lungs, stir the blood, and set in motion the whole 
" body, and in the development of special muscles 
" by the use of a number of ingeniously prepared 
" machines, designed and furnished by Dr. D. A. 
" Sargent, the director of the gymnasium of Har- 
" vard University. The dumb-bell exercise was 
" acquired with great readiness, and given with pre- 
" cision, the idea of rhythm and time in marching 
" being conveyed by the assistance of drum beats. 
" The great benefit arising from the use of the 
" special apparatus has been clearly shown in the 
" uniform increase of chest girths, arm girths, &c. ; 
" in the erect carriage and springy step of the stu- 
" dents, and above all in the desire for regular ex- 
" ercise, as shown in their work on days when the 



" exercise was not compulsory. The physique of 
" each student was carefully recorded in a series of 
" 42 measurements taken at the beginning and 
" again at the end of the season. The average 
" chest girth of about 50 young men showed the 
" following gains : — 



" Inflated 

- -897 


" Repose 

- -853 


" The measurements given are decimals of a 
" meter. 

" The greatest gain in chest girth was : — 

" Inflated 
" Repose 


- -890 

- -855 


" Some interesting cases occurred of the develop- 
" ment of limbs into symmetrical proportions where 
" marked discrepancies existed when the first meas- 
" urements were taken. A single illustration will 
" be sufficient : — 



" Right calf 

- -377 


" Left calf 

- -373 


" Upper right arm 

- -297 


" Upper left arm 

- 300 

•305 " 

We were able to produce symmetry in that young 
man whose left side at one time had probably been 
slightly paralyzed. 

13,528. {Mr. Johnson.) "With regard to what 
you have said about the Milan Conference, I should 
like to put a question to you. Have you any idea 
what are the opinions of the teachers of the deaf 
and dumb in America as to the adoption by the 
London School Board of the oral system of teach- 
ing ; has it been made a subject of any comment or 
consideration amongst the teachers of the deaf and 
dumb in America ? — I can say that it has not been 
in any formal manner in convention, but it has been 
commented upon, and decided regret has been ex- 
pressed that where so many children were to be 
taken care of as in these schools in London, that 
rigid rule has been laid down, and it has been felt 
that the best results would not be obtained. 

, 13,529. Were those gentlemen whom you con- j)r. e. M. 
suited, or with whom you talked, aware how it was Oallaudet. 

that the London School Board came to that con- 

elusion ; might they have been guided, do you think, 10 Nov. 188 6. 
by the results of the Milan International Conven- 
tion ? — It has been a subject of complaint in Amer- 
ica among teachers there, that the action of the 
Milan Convention seemed to have had an effect in 
England far greater than we could bring ourselves 
to recognize in America as proper ; but that has 
always been spoken of as a matter of some little 

13.530. {Rev. C. M. Owen.) Because it was not 
of a sufficiently representative character ? — Precisely 

13.531. {Admiral Sir E. Sotheby.) What are the 
hours that the professors are supposed to be pres- 
ent in the college ; how many hours ? — The pro- 
fessors of the college are on an average engaged in 
three recitations each day, of from three-quarters of 
an hour to an hour each. That, however, does not 
represent by any means the entire amount of time 
that they give to the work of their professionships, 
for essays are submitted to them, preparations are 
made for lectures, and much work is done outside 
those three hours. They are required to give lect- 
ures, and to perform duties, and attend faculty 
meetings, and to do other things in connection with 
the work of their professionships that would very 
much extend the hours that were given to their 
duties. So that in speaking of the hours given to 
duty by college professors, it would be extremely , 
difficult and unjust to make any comparison between 
them, and the hours that might be expected to be 
required of teachers in a primary school, who would 
go into the school-room and remain in it five hours. 

13.532. How many hours do you think the pro- 
fessors give altogether, from the time they go into 
the college, until they come out of it ? — They are 
supposed to give all their strength. 

13.533. But then they are professors elsewhere, 
are they not ? — No, they are not. 

13.534. They hold no other office 1— No. 

13.535. They cannot? — They would not be ex- 
pected to. 

The witness withdrew. 
Adjourned to Friday, December 3, at twelve o'clock. 


The following Exhibits were made by Pres. E. M. Gallaudet 

during the course of his evidence before the 

Royal Commission. 

Exhibit to Queby 13,105. 

CENSUS RETURNS FOR 1830, 1840, 1850. 

[This Exhibit consisted of the following article by Harvey P. Peet, LL. D., entitled " Statistics of the Deaf and Dumb," 
published in the American Annals of the Deaf tor October, 1852, Vol. V, pp. 1-21. J 

My attention has been, by various circumstances, 
recently drawn to the subject set forth in the head- 
ing of this paper ; and I have taken pains to procure 
from the Census Office such Tables as could be fur- 
nished, from the returns of the last Census, respect- 
ing the deaf and dumb. Some of these Tables, so 
far as I know, have not yet been made public, and 
though by no means as full and complete as we 
could wish, yet by comparison with the results of 
European enumerations, and with the returns of the 
Census of 1830 and 1840, some conclusions can be 
formed, not without interest and value, to those in- 
terested in the deaf and dumb. 

It is greatly to be regretted that Congress has not 
yet authorized the printing of the list of all the 
Deaf and Dumb in the Union, as asked for by the 
memorial presented in pursuance of a resolution of 
the Convention of 1850, and there is some reason 
to fear (judging from the report of the committee 
on printing the Census) that the printing of this 
most interesting and valuable document may finally 
be refused. There is reason to hope, however, that 
if it be not printed, a manuscript copy may be ob- 
tained from the Census Office ; in which case, at 
least the results of a careful examination of it will 
be made public in due time. 

In the meanwhile, I have been obliged to con- 
tent myself with the tables obligingly furnished me 
from the Census Office, which exhibit no smaller 
subdivisions than States, and in the classification of 
the deaf and dumb, though better adapted to the 
purposes of comparison than that adopted in the 
two former enumerations, is far from being as mi- 
nute as could be desired. One of these Tables, 
which has been published in the National Intelli- 
gencer, and thus has become generally accessible, 
gives the number in each State, of the deaf and 
dumb, blind, insane, and idiotic, distinguished ac- 
cording to sex, and whether white, free colored, or 
slaves. The other Table, which has not, as I am 
aware, yet been published, includes the deaf and 
dumb only, in two separate statements, first, classed 
as white, and free colored, and each again distin- 
guished as male and female, and as under ten ; ten 
and under thirty ; thirty and under seventy, and 
seventy and upward. Columns had been set apart 
for those unable to read and write, but no figures 
are found in them. In the second part of this Ta- 
ble, all the free (white and colored included together 
and the sexes not distinguished) are classed as born 
in the State, born in the United States, born in for- 
eign countries, and place of birth unknown. Re- 
specting the slaves deaf and dumb, a statement is 
given of their ages only. 

The whole number returned, as " born in the 
State" is 6,937 ; "born in the United States," 1;9 59 ; 
u bom in foreign countries," 567 ; place of birth un- 
known, 151, of whom 112 were returned from Illi- 
nois, probably nearly all by the neglect of a single 
assistant marshal. Of the 1,959, about 210 or 220 
are known to have been attending school out of 
their own State, to which nearly all of them will re- 
turn, leaving only about 1,740 who really resided in 
a State not their native State ; or less than one em- 
igrant to four who remained at home. The class- 
ification of the general population in respect to 
place of nativity has not yet been completed. When 
it is made public, we shall be able to say positively 
what proportion of deaf-mutes are found among 
emigrants. That their proportion is probably smaller 
than among those who remain at home, I shall 
presently show from other considerations. I will 
here only remark that the number of deaf-mutes of 
foreign birth is only about one-seventeenth of the 


whole (slaves not included), and as there have been 
more than a million and a half of emigrants landed 
in the country within the last ten years, and more 
than three-quarters of a million within the preceding 
ten, it may safely be estimated that the population 
of foreign birth is much more than one-seventeenth 
part of the whole free population. 

Neither has the classification of the general popu- 
lation according to age yet been completed. In 
order to compare the numbers of the deaf and dumb 
of the several ages embraced in the official table 
with the whole population of the same age and color, 
I have been obliged to estimate the numbers of the 
present population of the different ages as in the 
same proportion that they were in the same States 
in 1840 ; which, though not strictly accurate, will, 
it is believed, be found very nearly so. With these 
preliminary remarks, I pass to the proposed brief 
examination of the statistics of the deaf and dumb. 

It is only since the instruction of the deaf and 
dumb began to attract general attention, and to re- 
ceive the aid of governments, a period comparatively 
very recent, that any enumerations of this class of 
population have been made. Consequently the sta- 
tistics of the deaf and dumb are yet very imperfect. 
Something, however, has been done, both by order 
of governments and by the conductors of institu- 
tions who have kept records respecting their pupils, 
within the last thirty years, and the materials thus 
collected already present a respectable bulk, and 
give promise of permanent value. 

One result of the different enumerations made is 
that, as far back as they extend (only twenty-five or 
thirty years at most) the number of deaf-mutes in 
a given country is not found to vary greatly from a 
certain proportion to the population of the country. 
Whatever the causes of deafness may be, they are 
found so far constant that, in any populous and long- 
settled district, the proportion of deaf-mutes seldom 
varies greatly from one period to another. And 
though different countries, or differently circum- 
stanced districts of the same country, may vary very 
considerably in their proportions of deaf-mutes, yet 
even this variation has its limits. A few extreme 
cases excepted, there is, I believe, no country in- 
habited by Europeans or their descendants, in which, 
in a population of a million, there are less thai three 
hundred and fifty deaf-mutes, or more than about 
eight hundred. 

Of the extreme cases that have been referred to, 
the most remarkable are presented by certain dis- 
tricts of Switzerland, and the adjoining Duchy of 
Baden in Germany. The Canton of Berne contained, 
in 1836, 1,954 deaf-mutes in a population of 401,000, 
nearly one deaf-mute in every two hundred souls. 
In that country, deaf-dumbness seems often con- 
nected with, or complicated by the greater infirmity 
of cretinism, so prevalent in many parts of Switzer- 

Throughout Germany, with the exception of Baden, 
where the proportion of deaf-mutes is said to be as 
high as one in five hundred souls ; the proportion, in 
any considerable district, only varies from one in 
1,240 souls in Wurtemburg, to one in 2,180 in Sax- 
ony. And I believe there are no countries in which 
deaf-mutes have yet been enumerated, Switzerland 
and Baden excepted, in which the proportions much 
transcend these limits, whether on the one side or 
on the other. 

Prussia seems to represent nearly the mean pro- 
portion, both of Germany and of Europe, having 
about one deaf-mute in every 1,550 souls. And this 
proportion being found nearly the average of all the 
countries in which enumerations of the deaf-mute 



Exhibit to Query 13,105. 

population have yet been made, has been assumed 
to represent the general proportion in the whole hu- 
man family, thus enabling us to estimate that, at a 
very moderate computation of the population of the 
world, there must be at least half a million of our 
fellow-beings bereft of the faculties of hearing and 
speech. It must be remembered, however, that, 
with the single exception of the colored population 
of the United States, enumerations of deaf-mutes 
have only been made among nations of European 
races. Among the Asiatic, African, and aboriginal 
American races the results may prove quite differ- 
ent. A few years since, the Bev. Samuel R. Brown, 
formerly a teacher of the deaf and dumb in the 
New York Institution, and then a missionary in 
China, made particular inquiry in that country for 
deaf-mutes, but never met one, and could only hear 
of one case. Blindness, however, was very common 
in the celestial empire. I shall by and by show 
that in our own country deaf-dumbness is less prev- 
alent among the African race than among the whites, 
while with blindness the cases are reversed. It 
would not be surprising if the same peculiarity — 
greater liability to deafness, and less to blindness 
— should hereafter be found to characterize the 
white races, when data shall have been obtained 
for comparing them in this respect with the other 
great divisions of the human family. 

I may here add that from the returns of the late 
Census, insanity is more prevalent than idiocy 
among the whites, and idiocy more prevalent than 
insanity among the blacks, another marked charac- 
teristic of the races, which I leave to the considera- 
tion of those who have made physiology a study. 

Speaking of the greater liability of one race than 
another to certain infirmities, it may be observed 
that it would not be surprising^ if different families 
of the European stock should be found liable in dif- 
ferent degrees to the loss of hearing, the Teutonic 
races, for instance, more than the Celtic ; but this is 
a point which must be left to the result of future 
investigations, no data now existing for forming a 
satisfactory judgment on it. But as the first enu- 
meration of the deaf and dumb of Ireland has just 
been made at the instance of Dr. Wilde, of Dublin, 
who will spare no pains to make the returns accu- 
rate and comprehensive, when the results are made 
public, they may, perhaps, by comparison with 
enumerations made in this and other countries 
where Teutonic races prevail, enable us to form 
satisfactory conclusions on this as well as on many 
other points of interest. 

That a liability to deafness should run through 
a whole race need not surprise us, for deafness cer- 
tainly runs in families. And though perhaps only 
one in fifty of deaf-mute heads of families may have 
deaf-mute children, yet they are more liable to have 
such children, other causes being equal, than heads 
of families who have no family predisposition. 
Cases are recorded, though rare, in which deafness 
has appeared in certain families through three gen- 

The inquiry respecting the liability of different 
races to deaf-dumbness is quite a novel one, but 
greater attention has been paid to the question of 
the influence of climate and of modes of living on 
the prevalence of this infirmity. Switzerland, where 
the proportion of deaf-mutes is excessively great, is 
a cold, mountainous, and humid region. Saxony 
and Belgium, where this proportion is small, are 
comparatively level, dry, and fertile. Warm coun- 
tries, as Tuscany, appear to contain, on the whole, 
a smaller proportion of deaf-mutes than cold coun- 
tries, as Denmark and Scotland, but the difference 
is not great nor very uniform. Still it is very prob- 
able climate has an important influence on the prev- 
alence of deafness, though among the many causes 
that may influence the proportion of deaf-mutes in 

• Twenty-eighth Beport of the American Asylum, p. 41. 

a given district it is difficult to judge how much of 
the result is due to each. 

Hence it is that no satisfactory conclusions can 
be formed from the proportions in districts of small 
population. It is only by collecting together a 
number of districts similar in climate, elevation, or 
other circumstances, so that the operation of other 
causes may nearly balance each other, and the in- 
fluence we wish to investigate run through the 
whole, or be manifestly deficient in the whole, that 
we can confidently pronounce on the effect of such 
influences. Such a laborious comparison of Census 
returns to any extent has never yet been made, but 
it is in contemplation to attempt it in part when we 
are in possession of the list of the deaf and dumb in 
the United States. Meantime, from the general 
statement we have, some conclusions may be formed 
not wholly uninteresting or uninstructive. 

The value of the enumerations of the deaf and 
dumb made in this country, before the last made in 
1850, has been greatly impaired, both by the scant- 
iness of the particulars noted, and by the careless- 
ness of the returning officers. The most remarka- 
ble instance of this carelessness is in the fact that 
many white deaf-mutes must, in 1830 and 1840, 
have been placed in the column appropriated to 
colored deaf-mutes (we have noted colored deaf- 
mutes returned from certain towns from which no 
colored population was returned) ; the effect of 
which was to propagate widely what now proves to 
be a very erroneous idea, that deaf mutes were far 
more numerous, proportionally, among the colored 
population of the Northern States than among the 
whites. The last census (in taking which a line was 
given to every individual noting the color, sex, age, 
etc., of each opposite his or her name) has set this 
right, and shown that in fact the proportion of deaf- 
mutes, as I have already remarked, is much smaller 
among the free colored people than among the 
whites, the case with the blind being just the re- 
verse. Among the slaves the proportion of deaf- 
mutes is still much smaller. There may be here 
some reason to distrust the accuracy of the census, 
as we can hardly imagine the master or overseer of 
a large number of slaves as ready and accurate in 
giving a description of each, as the head of an or- 
dinary family in giving a description of each mem- 
ber gf the family, and the smallest proportion of 
deaf-mutes returned among the slaves is in those 
States where they are owned in the largest numbers 
by few masters. Still it would be quite consistent 
with the theory of the greater liability of the white 
race to deafness to find the free colored, who have 
in general, a larger admixture of white blood, more 
liable to that infirmity than the slaves. The differ- 
ence between these two classes may be owing in 
part to this, and in part to the greater inaccuracy 
of the enumeration of the slaves. 

Besides the influence of climate and of race, it has 
been held that a want of physical comforts and of 
enlightened care in infancy, tends to increase the 
prevalence of deafness as of other infirmities. It 
has been believed that deafness is more common, 
in proportion to numbers, among the poor who in- 
habit uncomfortable and unwholesome dwellings, 
and take comparatively little care of the wants- of 
their children, than among the more intelligent and 
better provided classes. On this point, however, 
we have as yet little definite statistical information. 

The great apparent proportion of deaf-mutes 
among the free people of color used to be cited in 
confirmation of this theory, as this class of popula- 
tion are generally among the poorest and worst 
lodged ; but, as we have seen, this proves to be a 
mere error in the returns. And the fact that the 
smallest proportion of deaf-mutes is returned from 
great cities where poverty is found in the most 
miserable extremes, is certainly unfavorable to the 
theory under consideration. It may be, indeed, 
that the returns from cities are more inaccurate 

Exhibit to Query 13,105. 


than from country districts, but we may also sup- 
pose that in the great mortality among children in 
cities and in unhealthy localities, deaf and dumb 
children, or those liable to become so, being prob- 
ably below the average in soundness of constitu- 
tion and tenacity of life, perish more readily than 

In examining the returns of the census, I will 
not go into the details of each State. The popula- 
tion of some of the States is too small to make the 
proportion of deaf-mutes of much statistical value, 
and moreover, in the several New England States, 
this proportion is greatly affected by the fact that 
a large proportion of their deaf-mutes were absent 
from the families to which they belong, being col- 
lected into one school at Hartford. A like circum- 
stance affects the proportion in the Middle States, 
though to a less degree. I shall therefore class the 
States in sections, so arranged as to place together 
those most alike in certain circumstances. 

For the purpose of comparing the last census 
with the former ones, I shall, for the convenience of 
availing myself of calculations previously made, 
class the States as 1, New England ; 2, The four 
Middle States, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
and Delaware ; 3, The Northwestern States, from 
Ohio to Iowa ; 4, The Southern Atlantic States 
from Maryland to Georgia ; 5, The Southwestern 
and extreme Southern from Florida to Missouri ; 
6, The extreme Western which appear for the first 
time in the last census in two divisions, first, Texas 
and New Mexico, second, California and the Terri- 
tories. For the purpose of comparing different 
sections of the Union together, I shall presently 
make a different division of the States. 

The annexed Table exhibits the numbers and pro- 
portion to the whole population of the same color 
of the white deaf and dumb at each census in each 
of the six or seven great sections of the Union just 

There seem to be certain periods when deafness 
becomes in a small degree epidemic in a certain dis- 
trict. Hence we find an increase in the proportion 
of deaf-mute children, not as I shall hereafter ex- 
plain, at the census taken while those children are 
in early infancy and the deaf-mutism of many 
of them yet unrecognized, but at the next suc- 
ceeding census. At the third census the propor- 
tion generally decreases ; and if the epidemic period 
be not repeated, it settles down to the average or 
below it. Thus, in New Jersey there was in 1830, 
one deaf-mute to 1,352 souls; in 1,840, one to 1,953, 
and in 1850, only one to 2,220.* The decrease in 
the Northwestern States, between 1830" and 1840, 
may be owing, besides the supposed inaccuracy of 
the census, to the great emigration into that region, 
there always being a smaller proportion of deaf- 
mutes in a population composed of recent immi- 
grants than in a stationary population ; and the in- 
crease of the last census can only be ascribed to 
one of these epidemic periods, probably occurring 
between 1830 and 1840, though not affecting the 
census till 1850. 

Among the causes that make deafness more prev- 
alent at certain periods than at others, are various 
diseases, as scarlet fever, small-pox and measles, in 
the case of accidental deafness ; and in cases of con- 
genital deafness, maternal anxiety, to which many 
cases are ascribed, with what degree of truth it 
would be presumptuous now to judge, may some- 
times become epidemic. At least there are certain 
years in which the nervous system of females is ren- 
dered more than usually excitable, and shocks that 
may have a deleterious influence on the offspring are 
more common. This is particularly the case in a 
country that is the seat of war. Many mothers in 
France have ascribed the infirmity of their congeni- 
tally deaf children to alarms sustained during the 
invasion of France by the Allies in 1814 and 1815, 
and its subsequent occupation. When we are able 

Table I. 



D. &D. 



D. &D. 



D. &D. 


1, 933, 338 
1, 454, 135 





2, 212, 165 
4, 465, 154 




2, 705, 772 
5, 845, 449 
4, 671, 381 



Six N. W. States 

Total Northern States... 
Five S. States and D. C. 
Eight S. W. States 

2, 040, 483 





9, 615, 626 
2, 332, 601 


13, 222, 602 
3, 297, 574 



Total Southern States. . 
Texas and New Mexico. 
California, Utah, Ore- 
gon, and Minnesota. 

3, 603, 157 






5, 998, 851 
215, 630 
193, 655 





- 1-2800 


Total of theU. S 

Total Atlantic States . .. 
Total Western States 
and Territories. 

10, 532, 060 
3, 016, 809 



14, 189, 218 
5, 270, 908 



19, 630, 738 


8, 378, 240 


1-1961 ' 

From this Table it will be seen that the propor- 
tion of deaf-mutes, in each great section of the Union, 
has remained tolerably uniform. In New England, 
it has, within the twenty years, varied only between 
1.1799 and 1.1854 ; in the Southern Atlantic States, 
only between 1.1790 and 1.1830; in the Middle 
States, between 1.1923 and 1.2201 ; in the South- 
western States, between 1.2028 and 1.2220. The 
greatest disturbance of the ratio has been in the 
Northwestern States, where it was 1.2244 in 1830, 
1.2780 in 1840, and 1.2160 in 1850. This fluctua- 
tion of the proportion of deaf-mutes in the North- 
western States I am hardly prepared to account for. 
It may be owing, in part, to an unusual inaccuracy 
in taking the census of 1840 in these States ; and 
in part, to unknown causes by which deafness may 
have been rendered more prevalent in that region 
since about the year 1835 than between 1825 and 
1835. This is a point that demands some exami- 

to make out a more minute statement of the ages of 
our deaf-mute population than we yet possess, we 
shall examine whether a proportion larger than the 
average seems to have been born in time of war. 
It should be added, that some of the diseases that 
destroy the sense of hearing may operate before^ 
birth, and it is possible these diseases may have cer- 
tain periods of prevalence. 

Another cause which has been assigned for the 
birth of deaf-mute children in many cases — viz., the 
intermarriage of near relatives, can only be verified 
by an extensive inquiry into individual cases ; and 
not from the usual returns of a census. The data we 
now possess are not sufficient to enable us to form 
any satisfactory conclusions on that point. 

Before examining whether the returns throw any 
light on the influence of climate on the proportion 

* The numbers in each case corrected by allowing for deaf- 
mutes then attending schools out of the State. 


Exhibit to Query 13,105. 

of deaf-mutes, it is necessary to attend to the in- 
fluence of emigration. I have already remarked that 
a population composed chiefly of recent immigrants 
generally presents a small proportion of deaf-mutes. 
This is strikingly exemplified in California, and the 
recently settled Territories, which only present six 
deaf-mutes in a population of 193,000, and the Table 
already given shows that, while the Atlantic States 
taken together have one deaf-mute in 1,961 souls, 
the Western and Southwestern have only one in 
2,245. But to show more clearly the influence both 
of emigration and of climate, we will arrange the 
States, leaving out the extreme west, in a somewhat 
different order. The six New England States may 
remain together ; but the Middle States we will ex- 
tend to the Potomac by adding Maryland and the 
District ; annex Missouri to the northwestern sec- 
tion ; form a new section under the name of Central 
States, to comprise Virginia, Kentucky, North Caro- 
lina, South Carolina and Tennessee, and class to- 
gether the remaining Southern and South-western 
States, including Texas, as extreme Southern States. 



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of the deaf and dumb and of the blind appears to be 
balanced, for in those States the numbers of those 
two classes are equal. 

And though it is aside from the purpose of this 
paper, it may not be without interest to add in pass- 
ing, that insanity is proportionably more prevalent 
at the north and particularly at the east, and idiocy 
at the south and west. 

In the following table we have placed in contrast 
the white and colored races : 

By comparing the New England with the north- 
western, and the central with the extreme southern, 
we see the influence of emigration, which it will be 
observed, is even greater in the case of the blind than 
of the deaf and dumb. In other words, a smaller 
population of adult deaf mutes, and of families con- 
taining deaf-mute children are tempted to emigrate 
than of the general population, and of the blind a 
still smaller proportion. 

And by comparing the States northeast of the 
Potomac and northwest of the Ohio with the extreme 
Southern States, we see the influence of climate. 
In the former the deaf and dumb are more numer- 
ous ; in the latter, lying much more under the sun, 
the blind are more numerous. In the Central States, 
the relative influence of climate on the proportion 

















































































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I have already remarked on the probable greater 
inaccuracy of the returns with respect to the slaves 
than with respect to either of the other classes. In 
South Carolina, where the slaves far outnumber the 
whites, there are returned upon a slave population 
of nearly 385,000, only fifteen deaf-mutes, fifty-two 
blind, nine insane, and fifty idiots. On the other 
hand in the adjoining State of North Carolina, with 
a slave population of only 288,412, there are returned 
slaves deaf and dumb fifty-two, blind 117, insane 
twenty-four, idiots 138, in each case from twice to 
thrice the number, and from two and a half times to 
five times the proportion. It is not easy to imagine 
any other cause for this excessive difference between 
the two adjoining States, than the greater inac- 
curacy of the census, when it relates to slaves col- 
lected in large bodies on a few plantations. 

Allowing for this inaccuracy, we shall find blind- 
ness and idiocy, as I have already remarked, more 
prevalent among the colored races than among the 
whites, and deafness and insanity less so. Why 
this should be so, and why the proportion of insane 
among the slaves should be so small as after mak- 
ing every allowance it must be, are questions which 
I am not now prepared to discuss, but would sug- 
gest them to physiologists as interesting topics of 

The proportion between the sexes of each class 
under consideration is a subject of some interest. 
Among the population at large, the males exceed 
the females in the ratio of about twenty-five to 

Exhibit to Query 13,105. 


twenty-four, but among the deaf and dumb, the 
males are to the females nearly as five to four. 
Similar results have been presented by European 
enumerations. Among the blind and the idiotic, 
the disproportion of males is still greater, being as 
four to three ; but among the insane, the sexes are 
nearly equal. I may add that even in countries 
where the total female population exceeds the male, 
the male deaf-mutes have been found far to out- 
number the females. 

I will detain the reader upon but one other topic 
connected with the census returns, the ages of the 
deaf-mutes returned. This is a point of consider- 
able importance, going to show that probably one- 
half or more of the deaf-mutes, under ten years of 
age, were unrecognized or overlooked. I have 
already remarked that not having yet obtained a 
statement of the ages of the general population ac- 
cording to the last census, 1 have considered it to 
be sufficiently accurate for my purpose to assume 
that the proportion of the different ages does not 
differ materially from the proportion of the same 
ages in 1840. 

In the table which has been obligingly furnished 
me from the Census Office, there must be a serious 
error in the number returned as over seventy, for 
one-half of the whole number over that age are re- 
turned from two States, Massachusetts and Penn- 
sylvania ; and I know of no causes to collect aged 
deaf-mutes in those two States. The effect is, to 
make the number of deaf-mutes in Massachusetts, 
over seventy years of age, more than one-tenth of 
the whole, and in Pennsylvania, more than one- 
eighteenth. Such proportions, being four times as 
great as the proportion of persons of seventy and 
upward in the general population, are utterly in- 
credible. I can only account for this result by 
supposing that some of the assistant marshals, in 
each of the two States, have erroneously returned 
as deaf and dumb a number of old people who had 
merely become deaf by age. The proportions of 
deaf-mute septuagenarians in the other twenty-nine 
States do not but little exceed the proportion of 
persons of the same age among the whole popula- 
tion ; but as the error just considered may have had 
some influence in the other returns too, we must 
accept very cautiously the favorable view of the 
comparative longevity of the deaf and dumb which 
is presented on the face of the returns. 

I will, therefore, include in one sum deaf-mutes 
between thirty and seventy, and those over seventy. 
Computing the whole population of the same color, 
sex, and age, as being in like proportion to the total 
population of that color as it was in 1840, we have : 
Table IV. — Whites. 
1. Males. 


Deaf and Dumb. 


4, 092, 100 
2, 762, 000 

2. Female 

3, 029, 800 
3, 987, 600 
2, 584, 000 





1 • 1750 

Of ten to thirty.... 

Of ten to thirty.... 

[N. B. Seventy-one males and thirty-six females 
were returned from Illinois, whose ages were not 

From this Table it appears that the proportion 
of deaf-mutes returned as under ten is with each 
sex considerably less than half as large as the pro- 
portion between ten and thirty. This result is 
nearly uniform in every district of considerable 
population, wherever enumerations of deaf-mutes 
have been made, whether in America or Europe.* 
To put the point in a clearer light, we will compare 

* See Eighteenth Keport of the N. Y. Institution, page 59, 
and Twenty-third Keport, page 19 and sequel. 

the present number of deaf-mutes over ten years of 
age with the whole number returned ten years ago : 

White deaf and dumb, present number over ten 7,754 

White deaf and dumb, whole number returned in 1840. 6, 682 

Increase 1,072 

If the ages of 107 from Illinois just mentioned 
were known, this difference would be found still 
greater, at least 1,150. 

The present white population over ten is esti- 
mated at 13,426,200 

Whole white population in 1840 14, 189, 200 

Decrease in ten years. , 763,000 

It is impossible to ascribe the increase in the 
number of the deaf and dumb above shown to 
emigration from abroad, for in 1850 the whole num- 
ber of deaf-mutes returned as of foreign birth in- 
cluding those under ten, and those who were in the 
country before 1840, was only 567, hardly half the 
increase ; and we have just seen that the emigration 
of persons born before 1840 has fallen short by 
three-quarters of a million at least, tb balance the 
loss by death to the whole white population who 
were living in the United States in 1840. 

We have already shown that the gain to the deaf- 
mute population by immigration is probably less in 
proportion than to the general population. It may 
then be safely assumed that the number who were 
living in 1840 should have decreased in 1 850 by the 
excess of deaths over immigration at least one- 
eighteenth part. And as we find in 1850, about 
7,832 over ten, allowing for those in Illinois, we 
find by this rule the number in 1840 should have 
been 8,292, instead of the returned number, 6,682, 
a difference of 1,610, or 24 per cent., which, 
as the general proportion of deaf-mutes to the 
whole population has but slightly varied, can only 
be ascribed to the imperfectness of the returns 
where young children are in question. Allowing a 
proportional deficiency in the returns for 1850, we 
shall have — 

Number of white deaf-mutes returned 9, 669 

Add 24 per cent 2,272 

Approximation to the real number 11,941 

This estimate may possibly prove rather too high, 
for if we add the whole 2,272 to the number now 
returned as under ten it will make the proportion 
of deaf-mutes under that age 11600, whereas the 
average proportion between the ages of ten and 
thirty is only 11740. To keep on the safe side, 
therefore, we will only suppose the number under 
ten ought to be as large in proportion to the popu- 
lation of the same age as the number between ten 
and thirty, which would give 3,566 white deaf 
mutes under ten, instead of 1,608, and make the 
total of white deaf and dumb 11,377. To this 
should be added an increase of at least six per cent, 
for the two ye*ars since June, 1850, making the prob- 
able present number 12,060. 

Applying the same correction to the number re- 
turned from my own State, New York, we shall 

White deaf mutes returned under ten. 181 propor. 14865 
Making this proportion equal to the 

next, we have 499 " 1-1770 

Deaf mutes returned between ten and 

thirty 726 " 1-1770 

Deaf mutes returned over thirty 390 " 1-2290 

Whole number returned 1,297 " 1-2351 

Number corrected as above 1,615 " 1-1888 

Only ten colored deaf-mutes were returned in a 
colored population of 47,397. Colored deaf-mutes, 
I need hardly say, are in this and other Northern 
States as much entitled as the whites to the means 
of education, and several are, or have been in the 
New York Institution, and I believe in other North- 
ern institutions. 

Applying the same test to New York that has 
just been applied to the returns from the whole 
Union, we find that, in 1840, the number of white 
deaf-mutes returned was 1,039. In 1850 there were 


Exhibit to Query 13,105. 

returned 1,117 above ten years of age, an increase 
of one- thirteenth part. The whole white population, 
in 1840, was 2,378,890 ; the estimated number 
above ten in 1850, is 2,176,400, a decrease of more 
than one-twelfth part. If there has been a similar 
decrease, by excess of deaths and emigration over 
immigration among the deaf and dumb, in order 
that there may be 1,117 deaf-mutes over ten now, 
there should have been 1,220 deaf-mutes in 1840, 
instead of the returned number, 1,039 ; and making 
a proportional correction in the whole number re- 
turned for 1850, we shall have 1,521 white deaf- 
mutes in the State — a smaller number than was 
just obtained by estimating the proportion under 
ten to be as great as the proportion between ten 
and thirty. I am inclined to believe from the num- 
ber of applicants for admission into the New York 
Institution, the last estimated number 1,521, is, to 
say the least, not too high. 

The causes of the great deficiency in the number 
returned as under ten years of age are, the difficulty 
of determining in the first year or two, whether the 
child hears or not (in fact the conviction that the 
child is deaf is often only forced on the parents 
when, at the usual age, it proves unable to learn to 
speak), and in the case of children who have become 
accidentally deaf, yet retaining the ability to utter 
a few words, the unwillingness of the parents to 
class them with the deaf and dumb. 

It is easy to show that the same causes operate 
in every State. Taking the six New England States 
together we find, in 1840, white deaf-mutes 1,194. 
In 1850, the number over ten was 1,337, an increase 
of 143, or one-seventh. The whole white popula- 
tion, in 1840, was 2,212,165 ; the white population 
over ten in 1850 was not far from 2,009,700, a de- 
crease of 202,400, or nearly one- tenth. 

In Ohio, the proportion of deaf-mutes in the popu- 
lation under ten is only 14200; in the population 
of ten and under thirty, it is at least 1-1500, nearly 
thrice as great. 

The following table will give these proportions 
for the few States for which I have found leisure to 
calculate them : 

Table V. 

Showing proportions of white deaf-mutes to the white 
population of the same age in 1850. 

Table VI. 


New England 

New York 






The Union, Males 

The Union, Females... 
Do. both sexes 

Under 10. 10 to 30. Over 30. Total 















1 • 1541 





Whatever may be the numbers of deaf-mute chil- 
dren, or of those destined to become such, under 
the age of ten, the returns of the number between 
ten and thirty may be assumed to be tolerably cor-' 
rect. And, judging from the ages of the general 
population, we estimate as one-sixteenth of those - 
between ten and thirty the number between twelve 
and thirteen (which is the best age of admission 
into an institution, and the age prescribed in the 
New York Institution and some others) . Accord- 
ing to this estimate, we have calculated for each 
section of the Union, and for several of the States, 
the number which, if we propose to educate the 
whole, should be admitted annually ; and the num- 
ber which, allowing an average continuance of six 
years (and less should not be prescribed for deaf- 
mutes of fair capacity), should now be in school ; 
adding the number actually in school at the date of 
my last advices. 

* It is to be noted that the seventy-one males and thirty- 
six females in Illinois whose ages are unknown are included 
in the total. 


New England 

New York 


All the five Middle States 


All the five Central States.... 

Seven extreme Southern , 

Seven Northwestern 


The whole Union, including 
California and Territories. 



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1, 180 











In New England and the Middle States the num- 
ber in school has been corrected by allowing for 
pupils from other sections of the Union and from 
the Canadas. In the Northwestern and Central 
sections of the Union it is estimated the number 
from those sections in Eastern institutions is equal 
to the number in their schools from the extreme 
South. The last-named section has as yet but one 
young and small, but prospering, institution, that 
of Cave Spring, Georgia ; but sends several pupils 
to institutions farther north. 

From this Table it appears that the most ample 
provision for the education of the deaf and dumb is 
made in New England and New York ; that the ex- 
treme Southern States are those in which there is 
the greatest deficiency, and next to them, I regret 
to say, stands Pennsylvania. The Table is proba- 
bly too favorable to the Northwestern States, as 
those States have increased since 1850 more in pro- 
portion than the Eastern and Southern States. If 
we allow for the increase since June, 1850, the defi- 
ciency will be still greater, especially in Pennsyl- 
vania, and in the Northwestern and extreme South- 
ern States. 

Of the apparent deficiency, however, a part is ow- 
ing to pupils continuing in school less than six 
years, in a few cases, because a longer term is not 
allowed by the State, but in much the greater num- 
ber, through the selfishness or mistaken kindness of 
their friends. If we were to calculate by the number 
of admissions annually, comparing it with the num- 
ber given above who ought to be admitted annually, 
we should come nearer to the actual number who do 
receive more or less instruction. In the New York 
Institution, for instance, the admissions, not includ- 
ing the readmissions, for three years past have 
averaged forty-four ; and allowing five of these to be 
from beyond the State, there will remain thirty-nine 
admissions from our own State annually, a deficiency 
of only about one-seventh. And as the New York 
Institution, for some years past, has never refused 
any proper applicants, it may safely be affirmed that 
means of education are provided for all the deaf and 
dumb in that great State, who are not kept from 
school either by physical or mental disease, or by 
the apathy, ignorance or mistaken fondness of their 
own natural guardians. 

After making every allowance, however, the defi- 
ciency in Pennsylvania and in the States farther south 
and west will still continue deplorably large. I am 
pursuaded that the friends of the deaf-mute in these 
sections of the Union will not rest content to fall so 
far short of the good end at which we all aim, the 
restoration to usefulness and happiness and Chris- 
tianity of all the deaf and dumb. In the Southern 
and Western States the cause has made most en- 
couraging advances within a few years, and we may 
well hope the period is not remote when the means 
of education will be provided for every child in our 
broad and favored land, whether able to hear and 
speak, or, by a dispensation of Providence, deaf and 

* Of the 107 returned from Illinois, whose ages are not 
given, half are supposed to be between ten and thirty. 

Exhibit to Qttebt 13,105. 

CENSUS RETURNS FOE 1850, 1860, 1870. 

[This Exhibit consisted of the following editorial from the American Annals of the Deaf tor April, 1874, Vol. XIX, pp. 
104-109, reviewing the Ninth Annual Beport of the Board of State Charities of Massachusetts.] 

Ninth Annual Report of the Board of State 

Charities of Massachusetts. Boston : Wright & 

Potter, State Printers. 1873. 8vo, p. 602. 

Under the ungracious and distasteful heading, 
" The Defectives," this report gives some valuable 
statistics and makes some interesting comments 
upon the census of 1870, with regard to the deaf- 
mute, blind, idiotic, and insane classes. We extract 
from it a portion of the remarks relating to the 
deaf and dumb : 

" The United States Census Office, in its reports, 
admits the peculiar liability to error in all statistics 
concerning defectives, particularly the deaf and 
dumb. Assistant marshals, whatever instructions 
may be given to them, oftentimes return the deaf 
only as deaf and dumb, even where the infirmity 
arises solely from age. But there are difficulties 
which even care and discrimination cannot avoid. 
There are partial states of deafness and dumbness 
which it is not easy to classify. Besides, the several 
classes pass into each other by imperceptible grada- 

"In the returns for the early census reports, 
idiots were often classed as deaf and dumb ; but 
the distinction is now too well understood to make 
the error common in those of 1860 and 1870. 

" Deaf and dumb children under ten years of age 
are to a great extent omitted by the census-takers, 
even to the proportion of one-half. The defect is 
not ascertained for some months after birth, and 
when ascertained is not readily admitted by parents. 

" Even the names of grown persons are sometimes 
intentionally withheld by the member of the house- 
hold who makes the answers to the assistant mar- 
shal, and who may or may not have an excuse for 
the omission other than a reluctance to admit the 
disability in the household. The marshal, when fa- 
miliar with the community, is able not infrequently 
to verify the answers by personal knowledge ; but 
where his district is large or the population dense 
and changing, the error passes uncorrected into the 
record. Assistant marshals have stated such cases 
to the secretary. One also has come within his own 
observation, where there are two deaf-mutes in a 
family, and one only appeared as such on the census 
returns. The other was a young man who became 
a mute at the age of five years. Since that time he 
has been a pupil of the American Asylum for the 
Deaf and Dumb, at Hartford, and was reported as a 
deaf-mute in the State census of 1865. One of his 
parents, however, reported only one deaf-mute, omit- 
ting the one referred to. It should be added, how- 
ever, that while with the general public he commu- 
nicates only by the sign-language,* and is also en- 
tirely destitute of the faculty of hearing, he articu- 
lates at home a few words remembered from his 
early childhood, before the disability commenced ; 
and this fact was the reason for omitting to report 
him as a deaf-mute. 

" By far the larger proportion of the deaf-mutes 
returned are between the ages of ten and twenty. 
This is not because the proportion is greater between 
these ages, but because the deaf-mutes at this period 
of life being to a considerable extent collected iu in- 
stitutions are not likely to escape attention. Such 
deaf-mutes are often returned twice — once for the 
place in which they live, and once for that in which 
they are at school. Such duplications the Census 
Office endeavors to eliminate, but not always with 


* Why not by writing ? The author of the report evi- 
dently supposes that the sign-language, and nothing else, is 
taught the pupils of our institutions. See also p. 108. — Ed. 

" Deaf-mutes of all ages, even where the disability 
is well known and understood by the family and 
neighborhood, are often omitted, by reason of the 
haste or carelessness of the assistant marshals. This 
is more true of cities than of rural districts, as in 
the former the officer has much less, if indeed he has 
any, acquaintance with the people whom he is num- 
bering and describing. Accordingly deaf-dumbness 
appears in the census to prevail in cities less than in 
country towns ; while as a fact it exists more in the 
former than in the latter. 

"A smaller proportion of deaf-mutes is reported 
among the foreign than among the native popula- 
tion. This is due in part to the greater difficulty of 
conducting the inquiries with immigrants, and in 
part to the circumstance that this class is not so 
likely to emigrate. 

" In several ways indicated, and perhaps in others, 
errors arise in the enumeration of the deaf mutes ; 
but it is found that duplications are not very frequent, 
while omissions are not uncommon. As a general 
result, therefore, the numbers as .reported by the 
United States, or even by the State census, are far 
below their actual numbers. A noteworthy instance 
of this occurred in the census of 1860, which re- 
ported the number of dea'f-mutes in Massachusetts 
as 427, and in the State census of 1865, which re- 
ported the number as 561 ; but the former secretary 
of this board, Mr. Sanborn, in his fourth report (pp. 
139-141) comes to the conclusion that, including 
children under five years of age, there were 950, and 
perhaps 1,000."* 

It should be stated here that Gen. Walker, late 
Commissioner of the Census, accounts in part for this 
difference by saying that Mr. Sanborn included in 
his estimate the deaf-mutes of Massachusetts who 
were in school at Hartford ; while in the census these 
pupils were reported among the deaf-mutes in Con- 
necticut. The report continues : 

" The Census Office, in its report for 1860, esti- 
mated — although the proportion was much less by 
the returns — that there was in this country one deaf- 
mute to 1,500 inhabitants — a proportion but little 
smaller than that of Europe. The report for 1870, 
as will be seen, gives, however, a proportion of only 
one in 2,380. In fact the proportion would be con- 
siderably larger if a true enumeration were to be 
made. The number reported by the census of 1870 
is 16,205 ; but if the proportion estimated by the 
census report of 1860 held good for 1870, the actual 
number of deaf-mutes in the United States at the 
latter date must have exceeded 25,000. 

"By the census of 1850 there was one deaf-mute 
in every 2,365.8 inhabitants ; by that of 1860, one 
in 2,452.5 ; and by that of 1870, one in 2,379.4. 

" The New England States contain, according to 
the census of 1870, deaf-mutes in the proportion of 
one in every 2,058.9 of their whole population ; the 
Middle States, i. e., New York, New Jersey, Penn- 
sylvania, and Delaware, one in 2,547.2 ; the South- 
ern States, including under that designation all the 
territory embraced by the old slave States, except 
Delaware and that part of Virginia now constituting 
West Virginia, one in 2,366.6 ; the Western States 
and Territories, one in 2,312.5 ; the Pacific section 
of the country, one in 4,295.6. 

" These figures and proportions cannot be re- 
garded as expressing the absolute, but only the rela- 
tive, numbers of the defective classes in the different 

* By a recent revision of his list, as we learn from the last 
report of the Clarke Institution (p. 9), Mr. Sanborn has re- 
corded the names of about 1,100 Massachusetts deaf-mutes. 
The list is still imperfect. ' ' The whole number cannot be less 
than 1,200, and may exceed 1,600." — Ed. Annals. 



Exhibit to Query 13,105. 

sections. According to them the deaf-mutes are 
most numerous in proportion to the population in 
the New England States, and fewest in the Pacific 

" The following table shows the enumeration of 
deaf-mutes by the United States census in the years 
1850, 1860, and 1870 : 

States and Teeeitobieb. 



New Hampshire.. 



Rhode Island 


New York 

New Jersey 

Pennsylvania , 

Delaware '.. 



West Virginia 

North Carolina... 
South Carolina.... 

Georgia , 























District of Columbia., 

New Mexico 









Totals . 

of 1850. 




























of 1860. 

































of 1870. 

12, 821 
















16, 205 

"It is not proposed here, in anticipation of the 
forthcoming comments of the Census Office upon 

the returns, to discuss the causes of the relative dis- 
tribution of the defective classes among the different 
sections of the country. One, however, may be re- 
ferred to : that of foreign immigration, which is a 
prominent element in the population of all the North- 
ern States, but the least promising part of which is 
most likely to settle on or near the Atlantic sea- 

" The apparent frequency of these disabilities in 
the New England States, as compared with other 
sections of the country, as shown by the census, 
may be accounted for in part by a more complete 
enumeration in those States, which is itself due to 
the fact that the defectives are more generally known 
and provided for than in newer communities." 

The report also contains a statistical table of the 
deaf-mutes in Massachusetts, prepared from the 
census returns on file at the State-house, which 
differs somewhat from the tables given in the cen- 
sus report. It divides the deaf-mutes into three 
classes : the deaf and dumb, the deaf only, and the 
dumb only. The census report gives the number 
of deaf-mutes in Massachusetts as 538 ; this table 
gives 507 deaf and dumb, 74 deaf, and 49 dumb. 
Doubtless some of the last named would be more 
properly included among the deaf and dumb or the 

With regard to the tendency to aggregation among 
deaf-mutes, and its results, the report says : 

" One class of defectives, the deaf-mutes, are quite 
often found to be collected in certain localities. To 
an extent not equalled by blindness, the absence of 
speech and hearing isolates those who experience it 
from the general community. The artificial lan- 
guage, which, for the most part, has been the only 
one taught them (! !), though sufficing in general for 
mutual intercourse, only aggravates the difficulty of 
communication with the world at large, and intensi- 
fies the sympathy and tendency to associate with 
others similarly afflicted. Thus little communities 
of deaf-mutes are formed, and through intermarriage 
the defect is perpetuated. Whoever examines the 
detailed tables given hereafter will notice some 
marked instances of aggregation of deaf-mutes. 
Thus the small town of Chilmark has 16 cases of 
deaf-mutes ; West Roxbury, 5 ; Pittsfield, 4 ; Box- 
ford, 4; Deerfield, 8; Leverett, 4; Chicopee, 4; 
Randolph, 4 ; Medway, 4 ; Blackstone, 5. 

" The hereditary character of the defect is appar- 
ent in many instances. The 16 cases in Chilmark 
include but four family names, and deaf-mutes of the 
same name are observed in other localities. A family 
of three deaf-mutes in West Roxbury has kindred of 
the same name and defect elsewhere in Norfolk 
county. Very many families have two or more deaf- 
mute members." 

Exhibit to Qubby 13,105. 


[This Exhibit consisted of the following notice concerning the compendium of the Tenth Census, published in the 
American Annals of the Deaf tor July, 1883, Vol. XXVIII, pp. 205-206.] 

The Tenth Census. — The volume of the Tenth 
Census Report (1880), containing the deaf-mute re- 
turns, is not yet published, but the " Compendium " 
recently issued gives some of its statistics. They 
certainly show much greater completeness than those 
of any previous census, and there seems to be every 
reason to believe that the great pains taken to in- 
sure accuracy and eliminate errors have been very 
successful. The following extract from the tables 
of Mr. Wines' preliminary report, published in the 
Compendium shows the considerable apparent in- 
crease in the number of deaf-mutes in the United 
States during the last thirty years as compared with 
the whole population — an increase only apparent, 
doubtless, and due to the greater accuracy of the 
Tenth Census : 













No. in each million of 

The following table gives the number of deaf- 
mutes in the several States and Territories in 1880, 
indicating also sex, nativity, and race : 

States and Territories. 















2,202 : 
















































































, 295 































































































































































7 1 






68 : 













71 1 








6 I 


































District of Columbia 


The United States 






♦Among the "Colored" are included 3 Chinese and 37 
Indians. Of the Chinese, 2 are in California and 1 in 
Oregon. Of the Indians, 6 are in California, 1 in Dakota, 
7 in Michigan, 2 in Montana, 1 in Nevada, 11 in New Mexico, 
1 in Ohio, 4 in Oregon, 1 in Virginia, and 3 in Wyoming. 


Exhibit to Quebt 13,109. 


[This Exhibit consisted of the following report, published in the American Annals of the Deaf for January, 1885, Vol. 
XXX, pp. 52-58.] 

The Committee appointed by the Fifth Confer- 
ence of Principals, at Faribault, Minn., "to prepare 
a blank form for the collection of statistics concern- 
ing the deaf and dumb,'* have performed, to the 
best of their ability, the duty assigned them, and 
beg leave to report, as directed, through the 
A nnals. 

♦The Committee met at Faribault on the evening 
of the 13th of July, and after a general discussion 
of the subject assigned to them requested Dr. E. M. 
Gallaudet, Dr. A. G. Bell, and Mr. A. L. E. Crouter 
to act as a Sub-Committee. 

In accordance with a call issued by the Chairman, 
a meeting of the Sub-Committee was held at the 
National Deaf-Mute College, Washington, Nov. 22, 
1884, at half-past ten A. M. Dr. Gallaudet, Dr. 
Bell, and Mr. Crouter were present. 

It was voted that Dr. E. A. Fay be requested to 
sit with the Sub-Committee and to act as its Secre- 

It was agreed to take the form of statistics used 
by the Pennsylvania Institution as the basis upon 
which, with such amendments as might be adopted, 
a blank form for the collection of statistics should 
be prepared for publication in the Annals. 

The Sub-Committees proceeded to consider the 
proposed form, and after making some progress in 
the work adjourned at one P. M., to meet on the 
following day at eleven o'clock. 

The Sub-Committee met, pursuant to adjourn- 
ment, Nov. 23, 1884, at 11 o'clock. Messrs. Gal- 
laudet, Bell, Crouter, and Fay were present. 

The consideration of a blank form for statistics 
was resumed, and a form was agreed upon, subject 
to the approval of the absent members of the full 
Committee. Forms of questions for inquiry were 
also adopted, subject to the same conditions. The 
Chairman and Secretary were authorized to put the 

forms adopted into shape, communicate with the 
absent members, and prepare a report for the next 
number of the Annals. 

The Chairman was authorized to present the fol- 
lowing communication to the Standing Executive 
Committee of the Convention of American In- 
strutors of the Deaf and Dumb : 

Gentlemen: We beg leave to call your attention to certain 
forms for the collection and preservation of statistics con- 
cerning the deaf which we have prepared and are about to 
publish in the American Annals, in pursuance of the instruc- 
tions of the Fifth Conference of Principals of American In- 
stitutions for the Deaf and Dumb. We would respectfully 
suggest that great good might be accomplished "if yon, in 
your capacity as representatives of the Convention, would 
cause blank forms to be printed, as proposed in what we have 
prepared, which might be furnished to the various institu- 
tions and schools at cost, and so facilitate the collection of 
uniform and full statistics. 

Dr. Bell was authorized to request a Committee 
of the American Otological Society to designate the 
probably real causes of deafness as related to the 
cause usually assigned by parents and friends. 

The Committee then adjourned. 

The members of the Committee attach much im- 
portance to the request they make of the Standing 
Executive Committee of the Convention, and enter- 
tain the hope that the Committee or the Convention 
may find it practicable to arrange for the codification 
from time to time of such information as may be 
gathered concerning the deaf in the manner pro- 
posed by this Committee — perhaps by the establish- 
ment at some central point of a permanent bureau 
of statistics, with which all the schools may be in- 
duced to place themselves in regular communication. 

The following heading of a blank form for the 
registration of statistics, questions to be asked on 
the admission of pupils, and questions to be asked 
of former pupils and of their employers, are recom- 
mended by the Committee : 

Heading of Blank Form for the Registration of Statistics* 























(Name before 

(Name before 




(Name before 




















Yrs. Mos. 




o ; < 







Method of Instruction, 





i. «., means of communi- 






Yrs. Mos. 



Sight. Hearing 


cation between teacher 
and pupil in the school- 























* This heading is here divided into three sections, to accommodate the size of the pages of the AnnaU. For actual use it is proposed to print 
it in one unbroken block at the head of a sheet of paper 4x1% feet in size, affording space on each page for the registration of twenty names. The 
questions to be asked of parents, of former pupils, and of employers, are to be printed on large sheets with spaces for the answers to be written on 
the same sheets. 


Exhibit to Query 13,109. 

Heading of Blank Form for the Registration of Statistics— Continued. 








(Mention names.) 

and CHAR- 






Powers of 

Husband or Wife. 










a . <a 








s < 



•a ; a 









■ H 


h i3 

85 , 


V* x 











■3 ! g 

1 : * 






File. No. 













3 -g IP 










■o " k 










■< « 






o - 



Questions to be asked on the Admission of Pupils. 7. 



























What is the child's full name ? 

When born ? (Give year, month, and day.) 

Where born ? 

Was the child born deaf ? 

If not born deaf, at what age was hearing lost ? 

Prom what cause ? 

Is th§ child totally, or partially deaf ? 

What noise can the child bear ? 

To what extent can the child hear the sound of the voice ? 

Have efforts been made to cure the deafness ; and if any, 

in what way and with what results ? 
Can the child understand anything by reading from the 

lips of the person speaking ? 
Is the child totally dumb ? 
Can the child utter any intelligible words ? 
Does the child communicate by signs intelligible to those 

with whom it has constant intercourse ? 
What have been the general moral conduct and disposi- 
tion of the child ? 
What is the state of the child's health in general ? 
What is the condition of the child's eyesight ? 
Is the child free from fits, from scrofulous ulcerations, 

and from every symptom of acute, chronic, or cuta- 
neous disease ? 
Has the child had the small-pox ? 
Has the child been vaccinated ? 

Has the child had scarlet fever, measles, mumps, whoop- 
ing-cough, or any other disease? (State which.) 
Has the child been under instruction at any time ; if so, 

where and for how long ? 
Can the child read or write ? 
Has the child learned to peform any manual labor, or 

ever been usefully employed ; if so, in what ? 
Does the child live with its parents? If not, state with 

whom it lives, and where, and how it is maintained? 
Give the father's full name. 

Give full names of father's parents before their marriage. 
Give the mother's full name before marriage. 
Give full names of mother's parents before their marriage. 
Where do the child's parents reside ? (Give county, 

township, and nearest P. O.) 
Where was the father born ? 
Where was the mother born ? 
Is the father deaf ? 
If the father is deaf, was he born so, or at what age and 

from what cause did he become deaf ? 
Is the mother deaf ? 
If the mother is deaf, was she born so, or at what age and 

from what cause did she become deaf? 
Were the father and mother cousins, or related in any 

degree before marriage ? 
What are the parents' occupations ? 
Has the father any, and, if any, what deaf relatives ? (Give 

their names.) 
Has the mother any, and, if any, what deaf relatives? 

(Give their names.) 
How many children have the parents had ? (Give their 

full names, with dates of birth and death, if any have 

Name those born deaf. 
Name those who have become deaf, and give cause of 

deafness and age at which deafness occurred. 
Give post-office address of parent or guadian. 

Questions to be Asked of Former Pupils. 

1. Were you taught a trade while at school ? If so, what 

trade ? 

2. What has been your occupation since leaving school ? 

3. Have you been able to support yourself by i*? 

4. Give the name and post-office address of your present 


5. Was it difficult for you to learn your present trade ? 

6. Have you had any great difficulty in obtaining your 

employment ? 

Did the instruction which you received in the shops or 
sewing-room when at school aid you in learning your 
present occupation ? 

Have you auy difficulty in communicating with hearing 
and speaking persons ? 
How do you usually commiuncate with them ? 
Has your knowledge of language improved since you 

left school ? 
Do you think a longer term of instruction would have 

been profitable to you ? 
Were you taught articulation and lip-reading at school ? 
If so, have you continued to practise them, or either of 

them ? 
Can you understand persons when they speak to you ? 
Can other persons understand you when you speak to 

them ? 
Are your associates mostly deaf or hearing persons ? 
Are you connected with any church ? If so, name the 

church and pastor. 
Who were your teachers while at school ? 
Are you married ? Give full name of husband, or of wife 

before marriage. 
Did you marry a deaf or a hearing person ? If deaf, 

where educated ? 
Was your wife (or husband) born deaf? 
Are you and your wife (or husband) cousins, or were 

you related in any degree before marriage ? 
Have you or your wife (or husband) any deaf relatives ? 

If so, name them. 
Have you any children, and how many ? Give names 

and dates of birth and death, if any have died. 
Were any of your children born deaf? If so, name 

Name any who have become deaf since birth, and give 
causes of deafness, and age at which deafness occurred. 
Do you know of any deaf-mute children who have not 

been at school ? 
If so, will you please send the names and addresses of 

their parents or guardians ? 
Do you live in the country, in a town, or in a village ? 
Give your name and post-office address. 
Add anything further concerning yourself that you think 
would be of interest. 

Questions to be Asked of Employers. 

Is , a deaf person in your employment ? 

What is trade ? 

Had he greater difficulty in learning the trade than hear- 
ing persons usually have ? 
How does he communicate with you and others ? 
Can he articulate so as to be understood ; and, if at all, 

how much ? 
Can he understand the speech of others by reading 

from their lips ; if so, how much, 
Is he self-supporting ? 

What are general character and conduct ? 
la what estimate is he held in the community ? 
. Does he apparently lead a happyand contented life ? 
. Give any further particulars of interest. 
The foregoing forms and questions are submitted 
to the institutions and schools for the deaf in Ameri- 
ca in the hope that they will meet with general ap- 
proval, and in the belief that, through their adoption 
and use, information of very great value concerning 
the deaf in this country may be obtained and made 
available for reference. 

Respectfully submitted. 

Edward M. Gallaudet, 
Alexander Graham Bell, 
Philip G. Gillett, 
A. L. E. Crouter, 
Job Williams, 

Washington, D. C, December 12, 1884. 



















Exhibit to Query 13,111. 


[This Exhibit consisted of the following article by President Gallaudet, published in 1883 in the American Supplement 
to the Encyclop«dia Britannica, and reprinted by permission in the American Annals of the Deaf, April, 1886, Vol. XXXI, 
pp. 130-147.] 

The first attempt, of which any record now ap- 
pears, to teach the deaf in America, was made by 
the Bev. John Stanford, about the year 1810. He 
was then acting as chaplain to the almshouse of the 
city of New York, and found in that establishment 
several deaf-mute children, whom he undertook to 
teach by causing them to write the names of famil- 
iar objects on slates. Finding the work of impart- 
ing a knowledge of language to deaf-mutes more 
difficult than he had expected, demanding more 
time than he could afford, he was compelled to re- 
linquish his undertaking. His interest, however, 
in the education of the deaf continued, and he was 
a few years later one of the founders of the New 
York institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and 

The first effort to teach deaf-mutes in the United 
States in any systematic manner was made in 
Goochland county, Va., in 1812, in the family of 
Col. William Boiling, who had three deaf children, 
and whose brother and sister had been taught some 
years before in Edinburgh, in the school established 
by Thomas Braidwood, and carried on there by the 
Braidwood family. John BraidwQod, a grandson 
of Thomas, came to America in 1812, with the 
design of establishing an institution for the instruc- 
tion of the deaf on a large scale. Col. Boiling in- 
vited young Braidwood to take charge of the train- 
ing of his three children, and later advanced funds 
to aid in the organization of a permanent school in 
Baltimore. But Braidwood, though possessed of 
skill and ability as a teacher, squandered the funds 
intrusted to him in an irregular manner of life. He 
was twice assisted by Col. Boiling in efforts to set 
up a private school in Virginia ; he made a feeble 
attempt at carrying on a school in New York city, 
and finally died a victim to intemperance. 

The establishment of the first actual school for the 
deaf in America grew out of the interest manifested 
by the late Rev. Thos. H. Gallaudet, LL. D., of 
Hartford, Conn., in a deaf-mute daughter of Dr. 
Mason F. Cogswell, of that city, in 1814. Dr. Gal- 
laudet had just graduated from the Andover Theo- 
logical Seminary, and was expecting to enter the 
Congregational ministry. Having some months of 
leisure during the winter of 1814-15, he devoted 
considerable time to the instruction of the child, 
Alice Cogswell, and succeeded in imparting to her a 
knowledge of many simple words and sentences. 
This success led her father, Dr. M. F. Cogswell, to 
entertain the idea of the establishment of a school 
for the deaf in his own town, where his child, with 
others similarly afflicted, might be educated. A 
number of gentlemen met at Dr. Cogswell's house, 
March 13, 1815, to consider the suggestion, and 
these gentlemen appointed Dr. Cogswell and Mr. 
Ward Woodbridge, a committee to raise funds to 
defray the expense of sending a suitable person to 
Europe for the purpose of acquiring the art of 
teaching deaf-mutes. Mr. Woodbridge heading the 
list with a liberal subscription, secured the pledge 
of a sufficient sum in a single day. Dr. Gallaudet 
was urged to undertake the labor of establishing 
the proposed institution, and after some hesitation 
consented to do so. He sailed for Europe on the 
25th of April, 1815, was unsuccessful in his efforts 
to obtain the necessary training in Great Britain, 
but was cordially received by the Abbe Sicard, the 
Director of the Institution for Deaf-Mutes in Paris. 
After acquainting himself with the method pursued 
by that eminent teacher, Dr. Gallaudet returned to 
Hartford in August, 1 816. 

He devoted his time during the following autumn 
and winter to the collection of funds for the new 
institution, and the school was opened April 15, 

1817, in Hartford, with about twenty pupils. The 
first grant of public funds in behalf of the educa- 
tion of the deaf in this country was an appropria- 
tion made in October, 1816, by the legislature of 
Connecticut, of $5,000 in aid of the new institution. 
During the winter of 1818-19 the Congress of the 
United States made a grant of a township of land 
(more than 23,000 acres) to the institution. This 
was sold to good advantage, yielding a fund of more 
than $300,000, the income from which has accrued 
to the benefit, mainly, of the New England States, 
by diminishing the per capita cost of educating the 
deaf in that section of the country. The institu- 
tion thus established remained under the manage- 
ment of Dr. Gallaudet fourteen years. It has been 
sustained in a course of unbroken prosperity, and 
holds a place at the present time of highest rank 
among the local schools of the country. More than 
2,000 children have been educated to lives of use- 
fulness within its walls, many of its teachers have 
been called upon to organize and take charge of 
schools in various parts of the country, many per- 
sons have come to it to fit themselves to become 
teachers of the deaf, and this now venerable insti- 
tution is justly looked up to and honored as the 
mother school of sixty-four in which the education 
of the deaf is provided for in the United States at 
the present time. 

The second school for the education of the deaf 
in America was opened in New York city, in May, 

1818. The suggestion for its establishment came 
from the unsuccessful effort of John Braidwood, 
already referred to, in which the interest of Dr. 
Samuel Akerly was excited. With the co-operation 
of Dr. Samuel L. Mitchell, a society was organized 
with the distinguished De Witt Clinton at its head, 
which was incorporated by the legislature of New 
York, April 15, 1817, under the name of the New 
York Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf 
and Dumb. 

The means for the support of the Institution 
were, at first, subscriptions and donations, with pay- 
ments from such parents of pupils as had means. 
The city of New York soon provided for ten day- 
scholars, and the legislature of the State promptly 
followed, first with donations of money, but soon 
(in 1821) with a permanent and specific provision 
for thirty-two State pupils. The liberality of the 
legislature has continued without interruption, in- 
creasing from year to year, and now embraces seven 
institutions located within the limits of the State, 
in which 1,300 children are receiving education. 

The New York Institution was for several years 
after its opening under the charge of Dr. Akerly. 
In 1821 Mr. Horace Loofborrow became the princi- 
pal teacher and occupied that position for ten years. 

The work of the Institution had many difficulties 
and drawbacks, arising in part from the lack of well- 
qualified and competent teachers, and from the ir- 
regular attendance of pupils, a large proportion of 
whom were day-scholars. But in 1831 the Institu- 
tion made a new departure by securing the services 
of the late Harvey P. Peet, LL. D , as principal, in 
which office were united the duties previously del- 
egated to the superintendent and the principal 

Dr. Peet had been for several years connected 
with the Institution at Hartford, in the capacity of 
steward, and possessed qualifications, both natural 


Exhibit to Query 13,111. 


acquired, which well fitted him to assume the direc- 
tion of such an establishment. As an assistant of 
Dr. Gallaudet, at Hartford, he had come to under- 
stand that the task of teaching the deaf demanded 
for its successful performance persons of exceptional 
ability and zeal. And the excellent results that fol- 
lowed his administration were owing in a large de- 
gree to his selection of his assistants. Among them 
were a number of young men of great talent, sev- 
eral of whom, after devoting years to teaching the 
deaf, left the profession to become distinguished in 
science, literature, and the work of general educa- 

The Institution remained under the able and en- 
ergetic control of Dr. Peet for nearly thirty-six 
years, and at the time of his resignation, in 1867, 
the Institution had educated nearly 2,000 children. 
Under the management of Dr. Isaac Lewis Peet, 
who succeeded bis father in the office of principal, 
the New York Institution has held its place in pub- 
lic esteem, and for many years enjoyed the distinc- 
tion of being the largest school for the deaf in the 
world. Within a short time, however, the numbers 
of the Illinois and Pennsylvania Institutions have 
exceeded those of the New York. 

Massachusetts was the next State to provide for 
the education of the deaf at public expense, making 
an appropriation in 1819, for the support of twenty 
beneficiaries in the school at Hartford. Pennsyl- 
vania followed the example of her eastern sisters in 
1820. The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania 
Institution for the Deaf and Dumb was organized 
April 20, 1820, under the presidency of the Right 
Rev. Wm. White, D. D. Some months previously 
Mr. David G. Seixas had opened a private day-school 
for the deaf in his own house in Philadelphia. 
Among his first pupils was John Carlin, who has 
attained distinction as an artist, and as the only 
congenital deaf-mute who has ever succeeded in 
composing poetry. This school was adopted by 
the organization just alluded to. Mr. Seixas was 
appointed principal, funds were freely advanced by 
benevolent persons in Philadelphia, and the infant 
institution well provided for during the summer, 
fall, and winter of 1820-'21. In February, 1821, 
the legislature of Pennsylvania passed an act incor- 
porating the Institution, and authorized the educa- 
tion of fifty children at the expense of the State. 

Mr. Seixas, after filling the office of principal for 
eighteen months, was succeeded temporarily by Mr. 
Xiaurent Clerc, the distinguished deaf-mute pupil of 
Sicard, who accompanied Dr. Gallaudet on his re- 
turn from France, and rendered valuable services 
for many years as a teacher in the Institution at 
Hartford. Mr. Clerc, after remaining seven months 
in Philadelphia, systematizing the work and meth- 
ods of the school, returned to his labors at Hart- 
ford, and was succeeded by Mr. Lewis Weld, who 
had acquired the art of teaching the deaf as an as- 
sistant of Dr. Gallaudet at Hartford. Under the 
management of Mr. Weld, which continued until 
1830, when he was called to succeed Dr. Gallaudet 
as principal of the Hartford school, the Institution 
became well established. Its usefulness has in- 
creased during the years of its existence, and it now 
has more than 400 pupils. 

The State of New Hampshire made provision in 
1821 for the education of ten deaf-mutes in the 
Hartford Institution ; and in the same year the 
legislature of New Jersey passed an act making an 
annual appropriation for the education of the deaf 
and dumb of the State " in some suitable and con- 
venient institution." Under the provisions of this 
law the deaf of New Jersey were educated at New 
York and Philadelphia until 1883. 

In Kentucky the fourth school was established in 
1823. The legislature passed an act, Dec. 7, 1822, 
establishing a school for deaf-mutes, and providing 
for its support. The passage of this act was 
mainly due to the efforts of Gen. Elias Barbee. 

The school was opened for pupils at Danville, April 
27, 1823, and placed in charge of Rev. John R. 
Kerr, a gentleman of good education, but without 
experience in teaching the deaf. Two deaf-mutes, 
young men, were successively employed as teachers, 
but were found to be incompetent. The board 
of directors, finding it impossible to secure the 
services of an experienced instructor of deaf-mutes, 
engaged John A. Jacobs, a young man of unusual 
ability, who was then pursuing his studies at Centre 
College, Danville, Ky. Mr. Jacobs went to Hart- 
ford to seek the aid of Dr. Gallaudet and his as- 
sistants in acquiring the art of teaching the deaf. 
He remained an inmate of the Hartford Institution 
for eighteen months, and then, before he had com- 
pleted his twentieth year, returned to Kentucky to 
assume the direction of the school at Danville. He 
conducted the affairs of the Kentucky Institution 
with marked ability and success for a period of 
forty- four years. 

In this connection we take occasion to condemn 
the mistake of placing at the head of institutions 
for the deaf men without previous knowledge of 
the art of teaching that class of persons. No cen- 
sure can be too severe on such action, at once seri- 
ously injurious to the interests of pupils, and in- 
sulting to the body of teachers employed in various 
institutions, among whom may be found men fitted 
by experience and natural ability to assume the di- 
rection of an institution. If, indeed, it prove a 
matter of difficulty to secure the services of such a 
man, then let the wise example of the directors of 
the Kentucky Institution be followed, and the crime 
avoided of appointing, for political or personal con- 
siderations, inexperienced men to positions which 
can only be properly filled by specialists. 

Maine and Vermont were the next States to pro- 
vide for the education of the deaf, each making 
appropriations in 1825 to maintain beneficiaries at 
the Hartford Institution. During the same year a 
school for the deaf was opened in Canajoharie, 
N. Y., the establishment of Which was authorized 
by an act of the legislature,' passed in 1822. Mr. 
Wm. Reid, a graduate of Union College, spent 
some time at the New York Institution, in 1825, 
preparing himself to be principal of this school, and 
assumed the direction of it at its opening. This 
Institution was kept up until the year 1836, when 
it was discontinued, and its pupils, together with 
Mr. Oran W. Morris, were transferred to the New 
York Institution, Mr. Morris becoming an instructor 
therein. Mr. Levi S. Backus, one of the earliest 
pupils of the Hartford Institution, was an instructor 
in this school, and when it closed Mr. Backus be- 
came the editor of The Radii, a weekly newspaper 
published at Fort Plain, N. Y., and for many years 
was the only deaf-mute editor in the world. 

In December, 1825, an act was passed by the leg- 
islature of New Jersey to " incorporate and endow 
the New Jersey Institution for the Deaf and 
Dumb," but the Institution was not organized at 
that time, the provision by the State, previously 
made for maintaining beneficiaries in the New York 
and Philadelphia schools, being deemed adequate 
to the wants of the deaf in New Jersey. In 1883 
a school was opened at Chambersbu'rg, near Tren- 
ton, where the deaf children of New Jersey are now 
successfully educated. 

In May, 1827, a school for the deaf was opened 
at Tallmadge, Summit county, Ohio, where in the 
family of Mr. Justus Bradley were three deaf-mute 
girls. These, with eight other deaf-mutes, were 
placed under the instruction of Mr. C. Smith, a 
deaf-mute, who had been for six years a pupil in 
the Hartford Institution. The school was sus- 
tained by private charity, with the exception of $100 
granted by the legislature of Ohio in 1828. An un- 
successful effort had been made in Ohio to provide 
for the education of the deaf by the citizens of Cin- 
cinnati in 1821, who went so far as to send the Rev. 


Exhibit to Query 13,111. 

James Chute to Hartford to acquire the art of teach- 
ing from Dr. Gallaudet. 

This enterprise was opposed in the legislature 
mainly on account .of the proposed location of the 
school, which was not a central one. In January, 
1827, the legislature of Ohio passed an net provid- 
ing for the establishment of an institution for the 
deaf. The organization of the board of directors 
was effected in July following, with the Rev. James 
Hoge, D. D., as president. In March, 1828, Mr. 
Horatio N. Hubbell, who had been chosen princi- 
pal, went to Hartford to secure a knowledge of the 
art of teaching the deaf, remaining there about a 
year and a half. In January, 1829, the legislature 
located the Institution at Columbus, and it was 
opened for pupils in October of that year. This 
school has continued in successful operation, and 
now stands fourth in the country in point of num- 
bers. Mr. Hubbell, the first principal, presided 
over the Institution with honor and success for 
twenty-four years, when he voluntarily retired. 

In 1835, the States of South Carolina and Geor- 
gia made provision for the maintenance of benefici- 
aries at the Hartford Institution, continuing to 
send pupils thither until schools were organized 
within their own limits ; the latter State establish- 
ing an institution in 1846, and the former in 1849. 

In 1839, an institution for the education, under 
the same roof, of the two classes, the deaf and the 
blind, was opened at Staunton, Va., receiving the 
bounty of the State from the outset. The depart- 
ment for deaf-mutes was placed under the charge 
of Rev. Joseph D. Tyler, who had been for seven 
years an instructor in the Hartford Institution. 
Mr. Tyler's able management, which continued until 
his death, in 1851, did much to settle the Institu- 
tion on firm foundations. During the civil war its 
operations were restricted by lack of funds, and by 
the diversion of its buildings to the uses of a mili- 
tary hospital. 

In the year 1842, a deaf-mute young man, who 
had been a pupil in the school at New York, col- 
lected a half-dozen deaf-mutes in Park county, Indi- 
ana, and began teaching them. Not being well 
fitted for the work, his school was continued only 
a year. Attention was, however, directed by his 
undertaking to the importance of deaf-mute educa- 
tion in Indiana, and the legislature voted him $200 
as a compensation for his services. 

In 1843, a law was enacted with great unanimity, 
as a preliminary measure, by which a tax was levied 
of two mills on each $100, for the purpose of sup- 
porting an institution for the education of the deaf. 
In May of that year Mr. William Willard, a well- 
educated deaf-mute, who had been an instructor for 
twelve years in the school at Columbus, visited 
Indianapolis and interested himself in the organiza- 
tion of the new institution. With the indorsement 
of prominent citizens of the State, Mr. Willard spent 
the summer in travelling over the State in search of 
pupils, and in October a school was opened under 
his direction with 16 pupils. An act incorporating 
the new Institution was passed Jan. 15, 1844, and 
a board of directors was organized. Mr. Willard's 
school was adopted by the board, and he remained 
in charge a second year, when Mr. James S. Brown, 
who had been for four years an instructor in the 
Ohio Institution, was placed at the head of the In- 
stitution. Mr. Willard continued to teach for 
many years. Under Mr. Brown's management the 
Institution enjoyed a healthy and rapid develop- 
ment. Liberal appropriations were judiciously ex- 
pended under his direction, and by the end of 1851 
commodious buildings, capable of accommodating 
200 pupils, were completed. 

In 1845, Rhode Island made provision for the 
education of her deaf-mutes in the Hartford Institu- 
tion. Since 1877 there has been a School for the 
Deaf in Providence. 

The Tennessee School for the Deaf and Dumb 

was incorporated in the winter of 1843-44. Rev. 
R. B McMullen was the first president of the board 
of trustees. The organization of the institution 
was due to the strong rivalry then existing between 
Middle and East Tennessee. A bill was proposed 
to the legislature by a member from Middle Ten- 
nessee for the establishment of an institution for 
the blind at Nashville, when Gen. Cocke, a promi- 
nent member from East Tennessee, immediately 
arose and proposed an amendment providing for a 
school for the deaf to be located at Knoxville. Rev. 
Thomas Maclntire, Ph. D., for four years previously 
an instructor in the Ohio Institution, was appointed, 
principal, Jan. 1, 1845, and the school was opened 
at Knoxville April 14, but no pupil applied for ad- 
mission. This was partly owing to the fact that 
payment for board and tuition was expected, but 
mainly to an indisposition on the part of parents 
to allow their deaf children to leave home. After 
waiting a month, without obtaining pupils, the 
board determined to issue new circulars offering 
free board and tuition to a limited number. This 
brought six pupils, whose instruction was com- 
menced early in June. The number of pupils in- 
creased to ten, and the school was closed in Feb- 
ruary, 1846, for lack of funds. In the absence of 
funds from the State, private benevolence was suc- 
cessfully appealed to, and during the summer of 
1846 suitable grounds and buildings were secured, 
and the school was reopened with thirteen pupils. 
Circumstances led Dr. Maclntire, since become well 
known as the successful superintendent for many 
years of the Indiana Institution, and later of the 
Michigan and Western Pennsylvania Institutions, 
to resign in August, 1850, after having done much 
to build up the school in Tennessee. This Institu- 
tion has passed through many vicissitudes, being 
suspended and much injured during the civil war; 
but it was reopened after the war, and has since 
received liberal aid from the State. It is now in a 
flourishing condition. 

During the summer of 1843 Mr. William D. Cooke, 
then connected with the school at Staunton, Va., 
made a tour in North Carolina, accompanied by a 
young deaf-mute, for the purpose of exciting an in- 
terest in the education of the deaf. He gave exhi- 
bitions of the manner of teaching, and urged in a 
number of public meetings the importance of provid- 
ing for the instruction of the deaf. As a result of 
his efforts the legislature passed an act in January, 
1845, establishing an institution and providing for 
its support. Mr. Cooke was appointed principal, and 
the school was opened May 1, 1845, with seven pu- 
pils, which number increased to seventeen before 
the close of the session. In April, 1848, the corner- 
stone of a permanent building was laid by the Ma- 
sonic fraternity, and Dr. Peet, the principal of the 
New York Institution, delivered an address. This 
Institution was continued without interruption dur- 
ing the civil war, and is now in a flourishing condi- 

The legislature of Illinois passed an act establish- 
ing an institution for the deaf Feb. 23, 1839, and ap- 
propriating one quarter per cent, of the interest 
upon the school, college, and seminary fund to the 
Institution. The board of directors was organized 
under the presidency of Joseph Duncan, Esq., June 
29, 1839, but owing to a variety of causes, especially 
the disturbance in the value of bank currency, which 
was wide-spread at that period, the completion of 
the buildings of the Institution was delayed until 
the autumn of 1845. The school was located at 
Jacksonville, and was opened for pupils Dec. 1, 1845. 
Mr. Thomas Officer, for five years previous an in- 
structor in the Ohio Institution, was appointed prin- 
cipal. In the first year the number of pupils was 9, 
and in the following year 14. Mr. Officer proved an 
eminently capable principal, and during the ten years 
he continued in charge of the Institution its growth 
was rapid and healthy. At the time of his resigna- 

Exhibit to Query 13,111. 


tion, in 1855, permanent buildings for the Institu- 
tion were completed, and the number of pupils had 
risen beyond 150. Philip G. Gillett, LL. D., was ap- 
pointed principal of the Institution in 1856, and is 
still in office. Dr. Gillett had been for four }'ears an 
instructor in the Indiana Institution. Under his very 
energetic and able management the Illinois Institu- 
tion has had a growth unparalleled in the history 
of schools for the deaf. Liberal appropriations from 
the State have provided for the improvement and 
enlargement of the buildings ; the moneys granted 
have been so well expended that the school at Jack- 
sonville is to-day probably superior in the conven- 
ience of its arrangements and appointments to any 
other establishment for the education of the deaf ; 
and in the number of its pupils it leads the world, 
504 being reported in December, 1885. 

Of the institutions, the story of whose origin has 
now been briefly sketched, ten are in full operation, 
and these ten were established within thirty years 
from the time when Dr. Thomas H. Gallaudet began 
his pioneer work at Hartford. 

During the thirty-five years which have followed 
the opening of the Illinois Institution more than 
fifty schools for the deaf have been established in 
our country, and fifty -four of them are now in oper- 

Of these fifty-four schools, three are deserving of 
particular notice, for the reason that in connection 
with their development new and important features 
in deaf-mute education have been perfected. 

In 1856, an adventurer from the city of New York 
brought with him to Washington, D. G. five little 
deaf-mute children whom he had gathered from the 
almshouses and streets of the metropolis. With the 
aid of a number of benevolent citizens he succeeded 
in setting up a school, and in collecting half a score 
of deaf and blind children belonging to the District 
of Columbia. Most prominent among the friends 
of the school was the Hon. Amos Kendall, who soon 
discovered that the would- Be founder of the new in- 
stitution was a man wholly unworthy of confidence. 
A little investigation showed that he had been mal- 
treating the children under his care, and misusing 
the funds intrusted to his hands. Mr. Kendall pre- 
ferred charges against him in the criminal court of 
the District, and was constituted by the court the 
legal guardian of the children brought from New 
York. The others having been removed from the 
school by their parents, Mr. Kendall took measures 
for the organization of an institution in due and 
proper form. An act of Congress was approved Feb. 
16, 1857, incorporating the Columbia Institution for 
the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and the 
Blind, naming a provisional board of directors, with 
Mr. Kendall as its president. In May of the same 
year the board appointed Edward M. Gallaudet and 
Mrs. Sophia Gallaudet, the youngest son and the 
widow of Dr. Gallaudet, of Hartford, as superin- 
tendent and matron of the new Institution. Mr. 
Gallaudet had been for eighteen months an instruc- 
tor in the Hartford school. On the 13th of June, 
in temporary buildings provided by the liberality 
of Mr. Kendall, the school was opened with five pu- 
pils. In the spring of 1859 Mr. Kendall added to 
his former benefactions by erecting a substantial 
brick structure, and deeding this, together with two 
acres of ground, to the Institution. The total value 
of his gifts to the Institution amounted to about 
$13,000. In 1862 Congress appropriated $9,000 for 
the enlargement of buildings, and by this act ena- 
bled the Institution to provide fully for the educa- 
tion of the deaf and blind of the District. 

In their report for 1862 the directors laid before 
Congress a proposal for the enlargement of the 
scope of the Institution by the establishment of a 
collegiate department, which might afford the deaf 
of the country an opportunity to engage in the 
higher courses of study open to other youth in col- 
leges. The desirableness of providing a college for 

the deaf had been urged for several years by prom- 
inent instructors, foremost among whom was the 
Rev. Wm. W. Turner, for many years an instructor 
in the Hartford Institution, and for ten years its 
principal. Congress acted favorably on the sugges- 
tion of the directors of the Columbia Institution, 
and in 1864 passed an act authorizing the board to 
confer collegiate degrees. An addition of $3,100 
was made to the annual grant of Congress for the 
support of the Institution, and the sum of $26,000 
was appropriated to enlarge the grounds and 

The collegiate department, under the name of the 
National Deaf-Mute College, was publicly inaugu- 
rated June 28, 1864 — the honorary degree of Mas- 
ter of Arts being conferred on John Carlin, to 
whom reference has been made. Mr. Carlin deliv- 
ered an oration on this occasion, as did also the 
venerable and distinguished deaf-mute, Laurent 
Clerc, M. A., who had assisted the elder Dr. Gallau- 
det in organizing the Hartford school. At the same 
time Edward M. Gallaudet, who had filled the office 
of superintendent of the Institution from its open- 
ing in 1857, was installed as president of the cor- 
poration and of the board of directors. 

The development of the College for the Deaf, 
still the only one in the world, has been most grati- 
fying. Opening with 7 students in September, 1864, 
it had during the last year reported 48, represent- 
ing 26 States and the Federal District. More than 
300 young men have availed themselves of its ad- 
vantages, leaving its walls to enter upon lives of 
usefulness as teachers, editors, lawyers, farmers, 
business men, specialists in science, and officials in 
government departments. Private benevolence in 
the cities of Washington, Philadelphia, Boston, and 
Hartford, Conn., responded liberally to appeals in 
behalf of the College in its early days, upwards of 
$15,000 having been contributed in these cities by 
individuals. Congress has supplemented these 
private benefactions by liberal appropriations for 
buildings and grounds, besides granting an annual 
sum for the payment of the salaries of the profes- 
sors and for the assistance of students unable to 
meet their own expenses. An able faculty of seven 
professors affords the students an opportunity of 
pursuing study in the several courses usually open 
in colleges. The primary department of the Co- 
lumbia Institution, which in 1885 received the name 
of the Kendall School, has flourished, although its 
numbers are naturally small. 

The department for the blind, organized when 
the institution was opened in 1857, and never con- 
taining more than ten pupils, was discontinued in 
1865, Congress making provision for the education 
of the blind of the District in the Maryland Insti- 
tution at Baltimore. 

During the first half century of deaf-mute edu- 
cation the method pursued was, with very incon- 
siderable exceptions, that derived by the elder 
Dr. Gallaudet from the Abbe Sicard in Paris. This 
was the manual, which is well described by Profes- 
sor E. A. Fay as " The course of instruction which 
employs the sign-language, the manual alphabet, 
and writing as the chief means in the education of 
the deaf, and has facility in the comprehension and 
use of written language as the principal object. 
The degree of relative importance given to these 
three means varies in different schools, but it is a 
difference only of degree, and the end aimed at is 
the same in all. If the pupils have some power of 
speech before coming to school, or if they possess 
a considerable degree of hearing, their teachers 
usually try to improve their utterance by practice ; 
but no special teachers are employed for this pur- 
pose, and comparatively little attention is given to 

Prior to the year 1867 the importance and feasi- 
bility of teaching deaf-mutes to speak orally had 
been urged by several American writers, notably by 


Exhibit to Query 13,111. 

Horace Mann, who made a tour of Europe in 1813, 
when he visited some of the German schools for the 
deaf, in which articulation was the prominent feat- 
ure. Mr. Maun urged the superiority of the Ger- 
man method over that pursued in America. His 
report excited so much interest that the Hartford 
and New York schools sent gentlemen abroad, who 
visited many schools where the oral method was 
practised. They reported that the manual method 
produced better results than the oral. Some little 
effort was, however, made to teach articulation to 
semi-mute and semi-deaf pupils ; but this was not 
long continued. Although the suggestions of Hor- 
ace Mann led to no immediate practical result, they 
were not forgotten. Dr. Samuel G. Howe, the dis- 
tinguished teacher of the blind (still better known 
as the instructor of the blind deaf-mutes, Laura 
Bridginan and Oliver Caswell), was Mann's travel- 
ling companion in Europe in 1843, and shared his 
views as to the importance of oral teaching for the 
deaf. In 1864, seconded by Mr. Gardiner Greene ' 
Hubbard, of Cambridge, one of whose children was 
deaf ; by Frank B. Sanborn and others, Dr. Howe 
made an effort to secure the incorporation of an oral 
school for the deaf in Massachusetts. This was 
successfully opposed by the friends of the Hartford 
school, in which the beneficiaries of Massachusetts 
were then educated, on the ground that for the mass 
of deaf-mutes, if one method were to be chosen to 
the exclusion of the other, which was what the oral- 
ists urged, the manual method would accomplish the 
most beneficial results. The controversy between 
these two parties was brought to an end, as many 
a similar straggle has been, by the discovery that 
each was demanding too much, and that a juste 
milieu of practicability could be found. In the au- 
tumn of 1864 Miss Harriet B. Rogers, a sister of 
the lady who, under Dr. Howe's direction, taught 
Laura Bridgman and Oliver Caswell, undertook to 
teach a deaf-mute child to speak. Meeting with en- 
couraging success, she advertised in November, 1865, 
for other pupils, limiting the number to seven. In 
June, 1866, she opened her school at Chelmsford, 
Mass., with five scholars. In 1866 and 1867 the 
board of State charities, of which Dr. Howe was 
chairman, and F. B. Sanborn, secretary, continued 
to press the importance of oral teaching for the deaf 
upon the attention of the legislature of Massachu- 
setts. At this juncture John Clarke, Esq., of North- 
ampton, Mass., proposed to contribute towards the 
endowment of a school for deaf-mutes in Massachu- 
setts. His generous offer was communicated to the 
legislature by Governor Bullock in January, 1867. 
In June following the Clarke Institution for the In- 
struction of Deaf-Mutes, at Northampton, was incor- 
porated, and organized on the 15th of July with G. 
G. Hubbard as president. Miss Rogers, of Chelms- 
ford, accepted an invitation to take charge of the 
new institution, and, having transferred her pupils 
to Northampton, the Clarke Institution was formally 
opened Oct. 1, and at the date of the first annual 
report — Jan. 21, 1868 — had 20 pupils. The purpose, 
as to method and scope, as to the kind of pupils de- 
sired, of the Institution, was made clear in the first 
report: "The Clarke Institution differs from all 
other American institutions (for the deaf) in this, 
that it receives pupils at as early an age as they are 
admitted in our common schools, and in teaching 
by articulation and lip-reading only." " This Insti- 
tution is especially adapted for the education of the 
semi-deaf and semi-mute pupils, but others may be 

The success of the Clarke Institution has been 
marked in every particular. Never having claimed 
to be able to teach all deaf-mutes to speak and read 
from the lips, it has developed the speech of the 
semi- deaf and the semi-mute, besides imparting the 
power of speech to many congenital deaf-mutes in a 
very satisfactory manner. The endowment of the 
school by Mr. Clarke was munificent, and in 1877 

the value of its real and personal estate was reported 
to be over $350,000. The number of its pupils in 
December, 1885, was 89. 

In the city of New York during the year 1866 Mr. 
Bernhard Engelsmann, who had had several year's 
experience as an instructor in the Hebrew (oral) 
School for the Deaf in Vienna, undertook to instruct 
a few deaf-mute children by the German or oral 
method. The parents of these children, together 
with a number of prominent Hebrew gentlemen of 
the city, met on Feb. 27, 1867, at the residence of 
Mr. Isaac Bosenfeld with the purpose of extending 
the advantages of Mr. Engelsmann's school to the 
children of parents who might be unable to pay the 
necessary expenses. So promptly were measures 
taken for the raising of funds that Mr. Engelsmann's 
school, under a formal organization, was opened 
with ten pupils on March 1, 1867, at No. 134 West 
Twenty-seventh street, antedating the opening of 
the Clarke Institution by exactly seven months. 
The school, which was sustained wholly by private 
subscriptions and the payment of tuition by parents 
until 1870, was not incorporated, however, until 
Jan. 11, 1869. In 1870 the legislature of New York 
provided for the education of beneficiaries in the In- 
stitution on the same terms and conditions as those 
prescribed for the old New York Institution, mak- 
ing also a special appropriation to enable the Insti- 
tution to prepare for the reception of State and 
county pupils. In 1871 another special appropria- 
tion, this time of $25,000, was made by the legisla- 
ture. Mr. Engelsmann was succeeded in 1869 by 
Mr. F. A. Rising, and he in 1873 by Mr. D. Green- 
berger, who, like Mr. Engelsmann, had been a teacher 
in the Hebrew School for the Deaf at Vienna. 

The growth of the Institution has been rapid and 
healthy. The number of pupils reported as pres- 
ent in December, 1885, was 161. The permanent 
buildings of the Institution, erected at a cost of 
$134,904.53, on Lexington Avenue between Sixty- 
seventh and Sixty-eighth streets, were formally 
dedicated Nov. 29, 1881. 

Still a third event, which gave an added and most 
influential impetus to the movement in favor of 
oral teaching, occurred during the year 1867. The 
directors of the Columbia Institution at Washing- 
ton, having their attention called to the move- 
ments on foot in Massachusetts, in behalf of the oral 
method, and the persistent assertions there made 
that the oral method was to be preferred to the 
manual, which claims were stoutly disputed by the 
authorities of the Hartford Institution, decided to 
send their president, Edward M. Gallaudet, LL. D., 
to Europe, for the purpose of making a thorough 
examination of all the methods pursued in that 
part of the world. President Gallaudet spent six 
months abroad, and visited about forty institutions, 
including in his tour all the countries of Europe 
except Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Turkey. 

In his report to the board of directors, Oct. 23, 
1867, President Gallaudet took very different ground 
with reference to the oral method from that main- 
tained by the gentlemen who had been sent out by 
the New York and Hartford schools some twenty 
years before. Giving the preference, as his father 
did, to the manual method, if the whole body of the 
deaf are to be restricted to one kind of instruction, 
he admitted the practicability of teaching a large 
proportion of the deaf to speak and to read from 
the lips, and advocated the introduction of articula- 
tion as a branch of instruction in all the schools of 
this country. Influenced by the recommendations 
of President Gallaudet, the directors of the Wash- 
ington Institution authorized the calling together 
of a conference of the principals of all the Ameri- 
can schools for the deaf, to be held at Washington 
in the spring of 1868. In response to this invita- 
tion the principals of fifteen institutions out of the 
twenty-five then existing in the country, together 
with one vice-principal and two ex-principals (Drs. 

Exhibit to Query 13,111. 


Peet and Turner), met on May 12, 1868, and re- 
mained in session five days. Many subjects of in- 
terest and importance to the cause of deaf-mute 
education were considered by the Conference, that 
of articulation occupying a prominent place. After 
full discussion the following was unanimously 
adopted : 

Resolved, That in the opinion of this Conference it is the 
duty of all institutions for the education of the deaf and 
dumb to provide adequate means for imparting instruction 
in articulation and in lip-reading, to such of their pupils as 
may be able to engage with profit in exercises of this nature. 

The action of this conference, taken in connection 
with the establishment at about the same time of 
the oral schools at Northampton and New York, 
gave a great impulse to the cause of the oral teach- 
ing of the deaf of America. 

In nearly all- the large schools, and in many of 
the smaller ones, classes in articulation were soon 
formed. So rapidly has this branch of instruction 
found favor in this country, that to-day, among the 
sixty-four schools, only ten are to be found where 
speech is not taught. And these ten schools con- 
tain only 430 pupils out of the 7,801 that were un- 
der instruction during the year 1885. The strictly 
oral schools are eleven in number, and had in that 
year 583 pupils. It will be seen, therefore, that at 
the present time a majority of the schools in this 
country sustain the combined system, and that this 
latter class of schools includes more than six-sevenths 
of the whole number of pupils under instruction 
during 1885. 


The distinctive features of the "manual method" 
have already been given. For a brief and clear 
explanation of the other two, we quote again from 
Professor Fay in the American Annals of the 
Deaf and Dumb (January, 1882) : 

By the oral method is meant that in which signs are used 
as little as possible ; the manual alphabet is generally dis- 
carded altogether ; and articulation and lip-reading, together 
with writing, are made the chief means as well as the end of 
instruction. Here, too, there is a difference in different 
schools in the extent to which the use of signs is allowed in 
the early part of the course ; but it is a difference only of 
degree, and the end aimed at is the same in all. 

The combined method is not so easy to define, as the term 
is applied to several distinct methods, such as (1) the free 
use of both signs and articulation, with the same pupils and 
by the same teachers, throughout the course of instruction; 
(2) the general instruction of all the pupils by means of the 
manual method, with the special training of a part of them 
in articulation and lip-reading as an accomplishment ; (3) 
the instruction of some pupils by the manual method and 
others by the oral method in the same institution; (4) — 
though this is rather a combined system — the employment of 
the manual method and the oral method in separate schools 
under the same general management, pupils being sent to 
one establishment or the other, as seems best with regard 
to each individual case. 

In conclusion, it may be stated that in no country 
of the world is the education of the deaf so well 
provided for as in the United States, and in no 
country have public appropriations in aid of this 
object been as liberal as in our own. 

President of the National College, 

Washington, D. C. 

Exhibit to Queby 13,111. 


[This Exhibit consisted of the following article by Prof. E. A. Fay, reprinted in the American Annals of the Deaf, 
1888, July and October numbers, Vol. XXXIII, pp. 199-216, 241-259. It is reprinted here by permission of William Wood 
and Company, owners of the copyright.] 

[The following article is extracted, by kind permission, of 
the publishers, from Buck's "Reference Handbook of the 
Medical Sciences " (William Wood and Company, New York, 
1886). The aim of the article was not only to present facts 
of interest to scientific men, but to place physicians in a po- 
sition to answer such questions as are likely to be asked by 
the parents of deaf children, and to enable them to give 
suitable instruction and advice. It was understood that the 
writer was not to discuss the comparative value of the vari- 
ous methods of instruction, but that this branch of the sub- 
ject was to be committed to two prominent advocates of the 
combined method and of the oral method respectively. Ex- 
tracts from one of these articles by Professor Gallaudet were 
published in the Annals last year (vol. xxxii, pp. 141-147) ; 
the other, which was to have been written by Miss Caroline 
A. Yale, Principal of the Clarke Institution, has not yet ap- 
peared in the Handbook. The following article is admitted 
to the Annals at the request of several members of the pro- 
fession. Much of its matter may be found in the completed 
volumes of the Annah, but it is here presented in a more 
compact form. — E. A. F.] 


The word " deaf-mutes " signifies, strictly speak- 
ing, persons who, having been born deaf, or having 
lost their hearing in early life, have not acquired 
the power of speech. There is usually no defect in 
the vocal organs, except such imperfection of de- 
velopment as may be the result of lack of exercise ; 
muteness is simply the consequence of deafness. 
Ordinary children learn to speak by hearing and 
imitating the sounds made by others ; the deaf 
child does not hear such sounds, therefore does not 
imitate them, therefore remains mute. 

The term " deaf-mutes " seems to have originated 
in the United States within the last fifty years. 
The synonymous term generally employed in Eng- 
land, and still frequently used in this country, is 
" deaf and dumb." Of these two designations 
"deaf-mute" is the preferable one; for (1) the 
words " deaf and dumb " tend to perpetuate the 
popular error that deafness and dumbness are two 
distinct physical defects, instead of standing, as 
above explained, in the relation to each other of 
cause and effect; and (2) the word " dumb " is open 
to the further objection that it carries with it an 
implication of stupidity and brutishness, being as- 
sociated in the minds of many people with dis- 
paraging allusions to the lower animals, as in the 
scriptural expression " dumb dogs," and in Long- 
fellow's reference to " dumb-driven cattle " (Dudley : 
Annals, 1880). 

There are many persons usually spoken of as 
" deaf-mutes," or " deaf and dumb," and educated 
in institutions established for the instruction of 
this class, who are not properly described by either 
of these terms Some of them, having lost their 
hearing by accident or disease after they had learned 
articulate language, still retain their speech not- 
withstanding their deafness ; others, formerly mute, 
have acquired the art of speech through the in- 
struction of skilful teachers of articulation. Such 
persons are not really " dumb " or " mute," and 
their improper classification as such — especially iu 
the case of those who have learned to speak before 
losing their hearing — gives rise to serious errors in 
the mind of the public concerning the nature of 
deaf-mute education and its results. The strictly 
correct designation for the whole class of persons 
under consideration in this article is " the deaf," a 
term which is coming more and more into use, and 
which will probably ere long supersede " deaf and 
dumb " altogether, leaving the word " deaf-mute " to 
be applied to persons deaf from birth or infancy, 
who have not acquired the use of articulate speech: 
The progress that has already been made in this di- 
rection is indicated by the corporate titles of our 
schools for the education of the deaf. Those first 

established were called " asylums for the deaf and 
dumb ; " then, as soon as the nature of the work 
began to be understood, came " institutions for the 
education of the deaf and dumb ; " later, when the 
objections above mentioned to the word " dumb " 
were felt, " institutions for the education of deaf- 
mutes " were founded ; while those most recently 
established are entitled simply "schools for the 

Some of the deaf are either born deaf, or, losing 
their hearing in early infancy from unobserved 
causes, are supposed to have been so born ; others 
become deaf from various diseases or from accidents. 
The deaf are thus divided into two great classes : 
the " congenitally " and the " adventitously "' deaf, 
or, as they are often called, "congenital deaf-mutes " 
and "adventitious deaf-mutes." Except where 
hearing is known to have existed, it is impossible 
to say positively to which of these classes a deaf 
person belongs (see Proportion of Congenital and 
Adventitious Cases, infra) ; the distinction never- 
theless is an important one. 

Among the adventitiously deaf, a large proportion 
lose their hearing in early childhood, before they 
have learned articulate language ; in other cases, 
where some progress in speaking has been made, 
the length and severity of the disease that causes 
deafness, often temporarily affecting the brain at 
the same time, seems to efface the language pre- 
viously acquired ; and in others the neglect of par- 
ents and friends to aid and encourage the deaf child 
in the extraordinary efforts necessary for the reten- 
tion of speech after hearing is lost, produces the 
same result. Speech as well as hearing is gone, 
and the child as truly belongs to the class of "deaf- 
mutes " as if he had never heard. No doubt there 
is a difference in his mental condition — greater or 
less according to the age at which deafuess oc- 
curred — from that of the congenital deaf-mute. 
(See Mental Condition and Characteristics, itifra.) 
But inasmuch as, before receiving special instruc- 
tion, there is no apparent difference in any respect 
between persons of this class and congenital deaf- 
mutes, while the real difference is much less than 
that which separates them from the class to be de- 
scribed in the next paragraph, they may be desig- 
nated for educational purposes as " quasi-congenital 
deaf-mutes " (Storrs : Annals, 1883). 

Many persons have lost their hearing by accident 
or disease, after having acquired the use of articu- 
late speech, and retain this speech more or less per- 
fectly notwithstanding their deafness. If the loss 
of hearing occurs in adult life, they usually escape 
the improper classification with deaf-mutes above 
referred to ; but if it happens in childhood, so that 
they cannot be educated in the usual manner of 
hearing children, but must be sent to special schools 
for instruction, they are erroneously included among 
deaf-mutes. Many of the^ processes of deaf-mute 
instruction are, it is true, equally applicable to per- 
sons of this class, and they may therefore properly 
be associated with deaf-mutes for the purpose of 
education ; but they differ from deaf-mutes essen- 
tially, not only in having the ability to express 
themselves orally, but still more in their natural 
mode of thought, which is in words and not in 
gestures. (See Mental Condition and Characteris- 
tics, infra.) This difference is fully recognized by 
all teachers of the deaf, who in this country distin- 
guish the members of this class by the useful and 
convenient, though not accurately descriptive, title 
of " semi-mutes." 

The deaf may be further classified according to 
the degree of their deafness. Deafness varies all 


Exhibit to Query 13,111. 


the way from a slight difficulty in hearing to the 
inability to perceive the loudest sounds. Persons 
in whom the defect is so slight as to allow of their 
education through the ear in ordinary schools are 
never regarded as deaf-mutes, and do not come 
within the scope of the present article ; they may 
be designated as simply " hard of hearing." The 
whole class of the deaf, aside from the hard of hear- 
ing, are divided into "the totally deaf" and "the 
semi-deaf." The totally deaf may belong either to 
the congenital or adventitious classes, and the same 
is true of the semi-deaf. The semi-deaf are often 
, semi-niute also, having acquired language before 
their hearing was lost, or possessing sufficient hear- 
ing to distinguish and learn words and sentences 
spoken in a loud voice or through a hearing- tube. 
In other cases of the semi-deaf, where no use what- 
ever has been made at home of their slight degree 
of hearing — its very existence often being unknown 
to parents and friends— experience has shown, as 
will be explained more fully under the sub-title 
" Auricular Instruction," that this slight degree of 
hearing may often be educated, and, apparently, by 
education developed, so that a considerable number 
of pupils who enter the institution as deaf-mutes 
may be graduated as merely hard of hearing. 

The term " mute " is often used as synonymous 
with deaf-mute, but it should be avoided as less 
exact, since it may also refer to persons who hear, 
but are not able to speak on account of feeble men- 
tal power or of some defect in the vocal organs. 
It is open to the further objection that it suggests 
to many minds an undertaker's assistant at a fu- 
neral. Persons "mute" or "semi-mute," but not 
deaf, are, of course, not to be included among deaf- 
mutes, and are not suitable candidates for admission 
to schools for the deaf. If, as is usually the case, 
their muteness is due to defective mental power, 
they may properly be sent to a school for the feeble- 
minded, where the skilful efforts of devoted teachers 
often succeed in awakening the dormant intellect, 
imparting speech, and restoring the child to society. 

We have, then, as terms of definition and classi- 
fication essential to a discussion of the subject, (1) 
the whole class of "the deaf," sometimes called 
" the deaf and dumb," " deaf-mutes," and " mutes ;" 
(2) the division of this class into, (a) " the congeni- 
tally deaf " and " the adventitiously deaf ;" (b) " deaf- 
mutes " and " semi-mutes ; " (c) " the totally deaf," 
" the semi deaf," and " the hard of hearing." Some 
combinations of these terms often convenient, and 
other terms so self-explaining as not to need defini- 
tion, are " congenital deaf-mutes " and " quasi-con- 
genital deaf-mutes ; " " the congenitally semi-deaf " 
and " the adventitiously semi-deaf ; " " the speaking 
deaf " and " the semi-speaking deaf " (including semi- 
mutes and such deaf-mutes as have been taught ar- 
ticulation) ; "the speaking semi-deaf" and "the 
mute semi-deaf ; " " the hearing mute " and " the 
hearing semi-mute ; " the last two classes being usu- 
ally persons of feeble mental power and not belong- 
ing to the general class of the deaf (E. M. Gallaudet, 
International Review, 1881). 


For a large part of the world we have, of course, 
no statistics of deaf-mutism ; but during several 
decades most of the countries of Europe and North 
America have included such statistics in their census 
returns. The returns from different countries, and 
from different parts of the same country, show re- 
markable differences in the extent of deaf-mutism. 
These differences are doubtless due in part to the 
greater accuracy with which the census is taken in 
some places than in others ; but it is probable that 
climate, race, and modes of living have considerable 
influence. Mountainous regions give a larger pro- 
portion of deaf-mutes than low, level countries ; the 
Caucasian than the African race ; Jews than Chris- 
tians ; the poor and ignorant than the intelligent 

and well-to-do classes. Compare, for instance, in 
the following table the statistics of Switzerland with 
those of Belgium and the Netherlands ; the white 
with the colored population of the United States ; 
the Jews in Bavaria and Prussia with the Catholic 
and Protestant inhabitants of those countries. The 
table is compiled from Mayr {"Beitriige zur Sta- 
tistik," etc., 1877), Hartmann (" Taubstummenheit,' > 
etc., 1880), and the Tenth Census of the United 
States, 1880 Of the United States Census returns 
it may be remarked that extraordinary pains were 
taken by Mr. F. H. Wines, the expert and special 
agent in charge of the statistics of the "defective " 
classes for this census, to secure accuracy and elim- 
inate errors. In consequence, probably, of their 
greater coirectness, they show a larger proportion 
of deaf-mutes than any previous census of the United 





Great Britain and Ireland. . . 







United States 

United States : White 

United States : Colored. 

Jews in Bavaria and Prussia. 
Christians in Bavaria and Prussia 
















imber of deal 
in each mil 

































































The statistics of the twelve countries above named 
show an average of 920 deaf-mutes in every million 
of population. If we suppose the proportion to be 
the same for the entire population of the globe, the 
total number of deaf-mutes in the world is nearly 


The deaf are divided into two principal classes — 
those who are supposed to have been born without 
hearing (the congenitally deaf), and those who could 
hear at birth and have become deaf afterwards from 
disease or accident (the adventitiously deaf). The 
following are some of the fullest statistics that have 
been obtained on this subject : 



XI . 






£ § © 



s ■ 


« u 



■ Fifteen European countries. . . 






United States Census, 1880. . . 






Twenty European schools 






Seventeen American schools. . 






The results given in this table for European coun- 
tries and those of the United States Census show 
an excess of congenital over adventitious cases j 
while those compiled from the reports of European 
and American schools give an excess of adventitious 
over congenital cases. The statistics of European 
countries are compiled from Schmalz (" Ueber die 
2'aubstummen," etc., 1848), and Hartmann (" Taub- 
stumrnenheit," etc., 1880), who do not indicate the 
sources from which they are derived ; those of Eu- 
ropean and American schools are compiled from the 
official reports of the principals of those schools, 
and are unquestionably more trustworthy than the 
census reports, inasmuch as the inquiries made by 
principals on the admission of pupils are generally 
more intelligent and careful than those of the cen- 


Exhibit to Queby 13,111. 

sus-takers. We may conclude then that, so far at 
least as the result can be determined by the testi- 
mony of parents and friends under the questioning 
of competent investigators, adventitious cases of 
deafness are more numerous than congenital cases. 

It may be remarked that the earlier reports of 
schools for the deaf give a much larger proportion 
of congenital cases than the later ones. Thus seven 
American schools, about the year 1850, report a total 
of 3,381 cases of pupils admitted up to that time, 
of whom 1,812, or 536 in a thousand, were congeni- 
tal, and 1,569, or 464 in a thousand, were adventi- 
tious ; while of 272 pupils admitted into six schools 
in the year 1873, only 88 are recorded as congenital, 
the remaining 184 being adventitous. The statis- 
tics of the Western New York Institution, estab- 
lished at Kochester, N. Y., in 1876, contrast still 
more strongly with those of the older schools. Of 
the 241 pupils admitted since that time only 20 have 
been recorded as congenital, the remaining 221 being 
adventitious. In Europe similar decrease in the pro- 
portion of congenital deaf-mutes, though in a less 
degree, is shown by comparing the cases reported 
by Hartmann in 1880 with those given by Schmalz 
in 1848. Of the 3,982 cases compiled by Schmalz, 
2,810, or 705 in a thousand, were congenital, and 
1,172, or 295 in a thousand, were adventitious ; of 
the 2,644 given by Hartmann (including the twenty 
European schools cited above and the districts of 
Nassau, Cologne, and Magdeburg), 1,285, or 486 in 
a thousand, were congenital, and 1,359, or 514 in a 
thousand, were adventitious. This change is, per- 
haps, to be attributed to the increased prevalence 
during recent years, both in Europe and America, 
of some of the diseases often resulting in deafness, 
especially cerebro-spinal meningitis ; perhaps, also, 
to the greater skill of physicians in these later days 
in the treatment of scarlet, typhoid, and other fevers, 
enabling them to save the lives of their patients in 
more cases than formerly. The life is saved ; but, 
often from the neglect of proper precautions against 
exposure after the physician's attendance has been 
discontinued, the hearing is lost (Ackers : " Deaf 
not Dumb," 1876). 

Although the statistics of congenital and adven- 
titious deafness reported by the principals of schools 
for the deaf are more reliable than those of the cen- 
sus-takers, they are probably far from correct. Their 
only sources are the statements of parents and friends 
when they bring their deaf children to school ; and, 
however willing parents and friends may be to state 
the facts correctly, in many cases it is not in their 
power to do so. Deafness is not usually discovered 
until the child arrives at the age when children gen- 
erally begin to talk ; at that time it is impossible to 
say whether the deafness has existed from birth, or 
hearing has been lost at some time since birth. If 
the child has suffered from some unmistakable dis- 
ease that is known to be a frequent cause of deaf- 
ness, the case is recorded as adventitious ; it may 
possibly, however, have been congenital. If, on the 
other hand, no such disease is remembered, the case 
is recorded as congenital ; but it is, perhaps, quite 
as likely that hearing has been lost in consequence 
of some unnoticed inflammation of the mucous mem- 
brane of the tympanic cavity of the air-passages im- 
mediately after birth, or at some subsequent period 
before the deafness was observed. Deafness truly 
congenital is probably of much rarer occurrence 
than is indicated by the most trustworthy statistics. 


The immediate cause of mutism, in the great ma- 
jority of persons who do not speak, is simply deaf- 
ness. (See Definition and Classification, supra.) 
Where this is not the case, as occasionally occurs in 
children improperly brought to schools for the deaf, 
there is usually some mental defect which has pre- 
vented the development of speech. Such mutism 
" is the result of the absence either of ideas, or of 

reflex action in the motor organs of speech. In the 
former case, imbeciles have nothing to say ; in the 
latter, they feel no desire to speak" (Griesinger: 
" Men,tal Pathology," etc., 1867). Very rarely, in- 
deed, it happens that mutism is due to some defect 
or paralysis of the vocal organs that interferes with 
articulation. But as neither of these groups of 
" hearing mutes " belongs to the class of deaf-mutes, 
they do not come within the scope of the present 
topic. Since deafness is the immediate cause of 
mutism in all deaf-mutes, in order to ascertain the 
causes of deaf-mutism we must inquire into the 
causes of deafness. 

The causes of deafness may be divided into direct 
and indirect causes. The direct causes are the de- 
fects in the organ of hearing, whether congenital or 
adventitious, which prevent the perception of sound. 
The indirect causes are the circumstances of environ- 
ment, disease or accident, either ante-natal or post- 
natal, or both, accompanying or preceding deafness 
in so large a number of cases as to give us reason to 
suppose that they have an important influence in 
producing those defects. The first class of causes, 
the manner in which they are produced, and the 
manner in which they produce deafness, I do not 
venture to discuss ; they are treated elsewhere in 
this " Handbook " by competent otologists. The in- 
direct causes of which I shall speak are those that 
have been observed by teachers of the deaf, or gath- 
ered by them from the statements of the parents and 
friends of the children brought to them for instruc- 

In discussing this subject it has until recently 
been usual, setting out with the classification of the 
deaf into congenital and adventitious cases, to as- 
cribe all the former to ante-natal, and all the latter 
to post-natal, causes. This distinction cannot be 
maintained. There are probably both congenital 
and adventitious cases (though a much smaller num- 
ber of the former than is generally supposed), and 
there are, doubtless, both ante-natal and post-natal 
causes ; but (see Proportion of Congenital and Ad- 
ventitious Cases, supra) it is impossible in any case 
of supposed congenital deaf-mutism to say certainly 
that it is not adventitious, while, as will appear 
below, there is reason to believe that ante-natal 
causes often combine with post-natal to produce ad- 
ventitious deafness. Every case should be consid- 
ered by itself; just as careful inquiry should be 
made, on the one hand, concerning all possible ante- 
natal causes in cases known to be adventitious as in 
those supposed to be congenital, and, on the other, 
concerning all possible post-natal causes in cases 
supposed to be congenital as in those known to be 
adventitious. This has not usually been done ; 
when it is, we may expect to arrive at a much clearer 
understanding of the causes of deafness than has 
yet been reached. 

Heredity. — The first, and probably the most ef- 
fective, indirect cause of deaf-mutism is heredity. 
This is sometimes questioned, for the reason that 
deaf parents do not, as a rule, have deaf children ; 
but, aside from the fact that the exceptions to this 
rule are of themselves numerous enough to establish 
the principle of heredity, its existence is clearly 
proved by the large number of deaf persons who are 
related to one another by blood. Out of 5,823 pu- 
pils admitted into six American schools up to the 
year 1877, 1,719, or 295 in a thousand, had one or 
more deaf relatives (Bell : " Memoir upon the Forma- 
tion of a Deaf Variety of the Human Kace," 1884). 
Of 2,106 pupils admitted into the Hartford school up 
to the same year (included in the 5,823 cases just 
mentioned), 593 had one or more deaf brothers and 
sisters ; 271 had two or more ; 116, three or more ; 
51, four or more ; 15, five or more ; 11, six or more. 
Of these same 2,106 pupils, 693, or 329 in a thou- 
sand, had one or more deaf relatives ; 374 had two 
or more ; 224, three or more ; 120, four or more ; 
65, five or more ; 35, six or more ; 15, seven or 

Exhibit to Query 13,111. 


more ; 9, eight or more ; 4, ten or more ; 3, fifteen 
or more. Probably many of these cases are counted 
more than once in the statistics, making the groups 
of related deaf persons much fewer than the total 
number of related deaf persons reported ; but they 
none the less forcibly illustrate the tendency of deaf- 
ness to prevail in certain families — a tendency which 
can be explained only by the principle of heredity. 
There are some families in the United States that 
have become famous in the annals of deaf-mutism 
for the large number of deaf-mutes they contain 
Among these may be mentioned the Brown family, 
of New Hampshire, having deaf-mutes in four con- 
secutive generations, and numbering at least thirty- 
four such cases ; the Hoagland family, of Kentucky, 
containing 21 deaf-mutes in three consecutive gene- 
rations; and a group of ten families residing in 
neighboring villages in Maine, not known certainly 
to be connected, but containing in all 105 deaf- 
mutes (Bell : " Memoir," etc.) 

Of the 5,823 cases above mentioned, 2,262 were 
recorded as congenital, and of these 1,234, or 545 
in a thousand, had deaf relatives ; 2,864 were ad- 
ventitious, and of these 396, or 138 in a thousand, 
had deaf relatives. The large proportion of cases 
supposed to be congenital, among those having deaf 
relatives, indicates that the hereditary tendency to 
deafness, where it exists, is generally so strong as 
to produce the result — whether independently or 
in conjunction with some other indirect cause that 
is not observed — either before or soon after birth ; 
while the considerable number of known adventi- 
tious cases having deaf relatives shows that the in- 
herited tendency not infrequently awaits the con- 
currence of some disease not hereditary in its char- 
acter, or of accident, before manifesting itself. 
Striking instances of the combination of hereditary 
tendency with adventitious causes to produce deaf- 
ness are offered in the cases of the Surber and Hus- 
ton families of Iowa, reported by Talbot in the 
Annals, 1870. The father of the Surber family is 
a deaf-mute, supposed to be congenital, and has 
several deaf-mute relatives. Of twelve children in 
this family, only one is supposed to have been born 
deaf, but four others lost their hearing, in whole or 
in part, from apparently adventitious causes. The 
father of the Huston family, and all of his brothers, 
became deaf, or at least hard of hearing, early in 
life ; of the ten children, three are recorded as hav- 
ing been born deaf, and two as having lost their 
hearing by disease. 

While the principle of heredity is thu3 clearly es- 
tablished as an indirect cause of deafness, it is a 
curious fact that, in a great majority of cases, the 
defect is not transmitted by deaf parents to their 
children. Such transmission is so rare that many 
writers, especially those who first investigated the 
subject, have denied that it ever occurs ; and so late 
as the year 1881, the Commissioners of the Irish 
Census, in their Beport of the Census of that year, 
say that, " as the result of the investigations of the 
censuses of 1851, 1861, and 1871, it appears evident 
that the question of deafness and dumbness in the 
parents has no influence in propagating the defect." 
The inquiries of the Irish Census of 1871 were con- 
ducted under the immediate direction and super- 
vision of the late Sir William Wilde, an eminent 
aural surgeon and statistician. He reported that 
there were in Ireland 115 instances of marriages in 
which one or both of the partners in marriage were 
congenitally deaf. In 81 instances one only of the 
partners were congenitally deaf : from 67 such mar- 
riages 264 children were born, none of whom were 
deaf ; in the remaining 14 instances there was no 
issue. There were 4 instances of the marriage of a 
congenitally with an adventitiously deaf person, 
from 3 of which 7 children resulted, one of whom 
was a deaf-mute. There were 13 instances of the 
marriage of partners, both congenitally deaf, and 
from 12 of these marriages 44 children resulted, of 

whom one was a deaf-mute, and one was deaf only. 
In 4 instances where one parent was congenitally 
deaf, the condition of the other parent and of the 
offspring could not be ascertained. Of the 315 
children resulting from all the above-mentioned 
marriages, only two were deaf-mutes, and one was 
deaf only. Much similar testimony as to the rarity 
of deaf-mute children resulting from the marriage 
of deaf-mutes might be brought from other coun- 
tries. In almost every instance, however, in which 
a large number of cases have been collated — as in- 
deed in Ireland, notwithstanding the assertion of 
the Census Commissioners — the proportion of deaf 
children has been found to be greater than in the 
community generally. 

The marriage of deaf-mutes, both with one another 
and with hearing persons, is far more common in 
the United States than in Europe. This country, 
therefore, affords the best field for investigating the 
results of such marriages, and a considerable body 
of statistics, though still very incomplete, has been 
collected by the principals of American schools for 
the deaf. They show, as do the Irish statistics 
above quoted, that many married deaf-mutes have 
no deaf-mute children, and that, with deaf parents 
as with hearing parents, hearing children are the 
rule, deaf children the exception ; but they also 
show, especially when a large number of such cases 
are brought together, that the proportion of these 
exceptions with deaf-mute parents is far greater than 
with hearing parents. Thus, in 110 families in 
which one or both parents were deaf, formed by 
graduates of the Hartford school, there were 275 
children, of whom 38 were deaf — a proportion of 
deaf to hearing children many times greater than 
in the community at large (Turner : " Proceedings 
of the First Conference of Principals," 1868) ; and 
of 16,719 deaf-mute pupils admitted into thirty- 
three American schools up to the year 1883, 207, 
or 12.4 in a thousand, had one or both parents deaf 
(Bell : " Memoir," etc.) While considerable allow- 
ance must be made in these last statistics for the 
fact that the deaf-mute children of deaf-mute par- 
ents are more likely to be sent to school than those 
of hearing parents, the proportion of such children 
to the whole number of deaf-mutes still remains 
many times greater than the proportion of deaf- 
mutes to the whole population. 

Another curious fact shown by the statistics of 
deaf-mute marriages is that the proportion of deaf- 
mute children is greater when one of the parents is 
deaf and one is a hearing person, than when both 
parents are deaf. In 57 families formed H)y gradu- 
ates of the Hartford school, in which one parent 
was deaf and the other a hearing person, there were 
14 deaf children, or 24.6 deaf children for every 100 
families ; while in 239 families, in which both parents 
were deaf, there were 34 deaf children, being only 
14.2 deaf children for every 100 families ("Beport 
of the American Asylum," 1877). Dr. Bell's sug- 
gestion ("Memoir," etc.), that in many cases the 
hearing parent probably belonged to a family con- 
taining deaf-mutes, is doubtless the correct explana- 
tion of this phenomenon ; since other statistics col- 
lated by him prove that an hereditary tendency to 
deafness, as indicated by the possession of deaf 
relatives, is a far more important element in deter- 
mining the production of deaf offspring than deaf- 
ness jn one or both of the parents. Of 162 deaf- 
mutes married to hearing persons, 55 who had 
deaf-mute relatives had 15 deaf children ; while of 
the remaining 107, who had not deaf relatives, only 
one had a deaf child. One exception to the state- 
ment at the beginning of this paragraph should be 
noted ; where both parents are recorded as congen- 
itally deaf, the proportion of deaf offspring is 
greater than where one of the parents is a hearing 
person ; the strong hereditary tendency which pro- 
duced deafness in both parents, before or soon after 
birth, being transmitted with intensified force to 


Exhibit to Query 13,111. 

the children. Of the 1 10 families above-mentioned 
as reported by Turner, 24 which had both parents 
congenitally deaf numbered 17 deaf to 40 hearing 
children, being at the rate of 70.9 deaf children to 
every 100 families. 

While the statistics of heredity are still too 
limited and incomplete to enable us to form positive 
conclusions, the following seem probable : 

1. Persons who have deaf-mute relatives, whether 
themselves deaf-mute or hearing, marrying persons 
who have deaf-mute relatives, whether themselves 
deaf-mute or hearing, are likely to have deaf-mute 

2. Persons deaf from birth or from early infancy, 
marrying each other, especially if either partner has 
deaf-mute relatives, are likely to have deaf-mute 

3. Persons adventitiously deaf and not having 
deaf-mute relatives, marrying each other, are not 
likely to have deaf-mute children. 

4. Deaf persons, whether congenitally or adven- 
titiously deaf, not having deaf-mute relatives, and 
marrying hearing persons who have not deaf-mute 
relatives, are not likely to have deaf-mute children. 

Consanguinity of Parents. — The consanguinity 
of parents is often assigned as a cause of deafness. 
The attention of teachers of the deaf was early 
called to the fact that a considerable number of 
their pupils were the children of parents related 
by blood, and for many years they have gathered 
statistics on this subject. The following table, com- 
piled from the reports of four American schools, 
gives the statistics of the pupils admitted up to the 
year 1877 : 














Parents first-cousins 

Parents second-cousins... 

Parents fourth-cousins... 
Parents uncle and niece . 
Parents not related . 

Whole number of cases 


























While these statistics are less appalling than those 
presented by Boudin (" Dangers ties Unions Con- 
sanguines,' 1 '' etc., 1862) with respect to some French 
cities (thB correctness of which, however, has been 
denied), they are certainly striking, and seem at first 
glance to justify the assertion often made, that the 
consanguinity of parents is one of the most frequent 
causes of deaf-mutism, as well as of idiocy, insanity, 
blindness, and other calamities. But they cannot 
be regarded as conclusive on this point until we 
discover the extent to which relatives marry each 
other. If the proportion of the deaf-mute children 
of consanguineous marriages to all deaf-mutes is 
greater than the proportion of consanguineous mar- 
riages to all marriages, such unions axe doubtless a 
cause of deaf-mutism ; but, unfortunately, the pro- 
portion of consanguineous marriages to all mar- 
riages has not yet been ascertained. 

The official statistics of marriages in Prussia, from 
1875 to 1878, indicate a smaller proportion of con- 
sanguineous marriages (viz., 0.8 per cent.) than the 
proportion of the deaf-mute offspring of such mar- 
riages usually is, but we have no statistics on the 
latter point for Prussia ; on the other hand, Mr. 
George H. Darwin's estimate of 2.2 per cent, for 
England, which was based on careful and ingenious 
calculations, though within narrow limits, shows the 
two proportions to be about the same for that 

The larger proportion of deaf-mutes among Is- 
raelites than among Christians, and among moun- 

taineers than dwellers in lowlands (see Extent of 
Deaf-Mutism, supra), is sometimes attributed to the 
greater frequency of consanguineous marriages 
among Israelites and mountaineers ; but other plaus- 
ible explanations of the prevalence of deafness among 
these classes are offered, and numerous instances 
are cited of communities in various parts of the 
world, where consanguineous marriages prevail to a 
great extent, and yet the children are more than or- 
dinarily free from deaf-mutism and other defects. 

My own opinion is, that consanguineous marriage 
is not in itself a true cause of deafness, but that the 
numerous instances in which deafness follows such 
marriages are to be considered as cases of heredity. 
If two persons marry, both of whom belong to a 
family in which an hereditary tendency to deafness 
exists, the tendency is transmitted to their offspring 
with increased intensity, and deafness in the off- 
spring is the result ; just as is the case in the mar- 
riage of two persons belonging to different families, 
in which such a tendency exists. As a general rule, 
investigators seeking the causes of deafness have ac- 
cepted the kinship of the parents as a sufficient cause 
without pursuing the subject further ; whereas fur- 
ther inquiry would probably have revealed other 
adequate causes in many instances, and an analysis, 
of all the cases in connection with the possession of 
deaf-mute relatives would have demonstrated the 
existence of an hereditary tendency to deafness on 
the part of many parents. Yet I should not advise 
relatives to marry, even where no hereditary ten- 
dency to deafness or other defect is known to exist ;. 
for as Mr. Darwin forcibly suggests, no man knows 
with certainty, until toward the end of life, what ills 
may lie hidden in his edition of the family constitu- 

Maternal Impressions. — Fright or some other in- 
fluence acting on the mind of the mother during 
pregnancy is frequently assigned by parents or 
friends as a cause of deafness, and striking narra- 
tives, especially with respect to gesticulating deaf 
persons seen by the mother for the first time during 
that period, are related in support of the theory. 
Inasmuch, however, as further inquiry usually bringa 
to light other causes which seem to be adequate, we 
need not accept this as a true cause. 

Scrofula. — So many deaf persons — from thirty to 
seventy-five per cent, in different schools — show 
traces of scrofula, that we are probably justified in 
supposing some connection to exist between this 
disease and deafness. " Scrofula, as a predisposing 
cause of deafness, acts almost always as a predis- 
posing cause of inflammation in general, which in- 
flammation, being excited in the ear, produces 
changes resulting in deafness " (Dudley Peet : An- 
nals, 1856). " The organ of hearing takes a promi- 
nent place among those organs of the body that are 
affected by the diseases caused by scrofula ; and not 
only do independent diseases of the ear occur more 
frequently in scrofulous individuals, but affections 
of this organ caused by other diseases, as scarlet 
fever, measles, etc., take a more unfavorable course 
in such individuals " (Hartmann : " Taubstummen- 
heit," etc.) The scrofulous diathesis manifests it- 
self quite as frequently in cases of adventitious as 
of supposed congenital deafness, confirming Hart- 
mann's statement that its presence increases the 
likelihood that other diseases of an entirely differ- 
ent nature will result in deafness. 

Social Circumstances. — Unfavorable social cir- 
cumstances, poverty, and ignorance may probably be- 
classed among the indirect causes of deafness, since 
the proportion of deaf persons among these classes 
seems to be greater than in the whole community. 
This is a matter of common observation rather than of 
statistical record up to the present time, but it is con- 
firmed by some statistics recently published by the 
Pennsylvania Institution concerning its former pu- 
pils (" Report of Special Committee to Collect In- 
formation," etc., 1884). Of the 344 families which 

Exhibit to Query 13,111. 


sent to that school 364 children, concerning whom 
information was obtained, 283, or almost eighty-two 
per cent, of the parents, were simple day-laborers 
or mechanics, the largest number of them, in pro- 
portion to the whole population of the State, being 
miners of the Lehigh, Schuylkill, and Wyoming re- 
gions. It is certainly reasonable to suppose that 
negligence, damp and ill-ventilated dwellings, in- 
sufficient nourishment, the lack of proper medical 
treatment, and other evils springing from poverty 
and ignorance, may combine with more direct causes 
to produce deafness. 

Mountainous Regions. — The large percentage of 
deaf persons in Switzerland, as compared with all 
other countries of which we have statistics (see Ex- 
tent of Deaf-Mutism, supra), and of the more moun- 
tainous regions of Switzerland, Austria, France, 
Spain, and Germany, as compared with the lower 
and more level districts (45 in 10,000 in Berne, Lu- 
cerne, and Wallis, to 24.5 in the whole of Switzer- 
land ; 30.6 in Salzburg, Steiermark, and Carinthia, 
to 9.7 in all Austria ; 24.5 in the Alpine departments 
of France, to 6.26 in the whole country ; 10.4 in 
South Germany, to 6.05 in North Germany) shows 
that there must be some influence in mountainous 
countries which, in some manner, tends to cause 
deafness. The opponents of consanguineous mar- 
riages charge the result to the kinship of the parents, 
who are said to be more likely to be related to each 
other than in the lowlands, on account of the scanty 
means of communication between different districts ; 
others, who attach much importance to social con- 
ditions, ascribe it to the poverty of mountainous re- 
gions, and the close, unhealthy houses in which the 
people live in winter ; others to the dampness and 
coldness of the climate. We must await a fuller 
knowledge of all the causes of deafness, and of all 
the circumstances of mountaineers, before we can ex- 
plain this phenomenon satisfactorily. 

Diseases and Accidents. — Turning to the causes 
which more unmistakably produce deafness after 
hearing is known to have existed, statistics show 
that it so often follows certain diseases and accidents 
as to leave no room for doubt that these diseases 
and accidents may be counted as true causes. The 
fullest, statistics that we have on this subject are 
those of the United States Census of 1880 ; and 
though they were not collected by experts, yet as 
they correspond generally in their proportions with 
those recorded of the pupils in our schools, and as 
the returns were carefully reviewed and analyzed by 
competent authorities, we may consider them toler- 
ably correct. The cause of deafness was assigned, 
with more or less definiteness and probability, in 
9,209 cases, out of which 366 were referred to dis- 
eases of the ear, 8,250 to other diseases, and 593 to 
accidents ; 850 cases of disease and 128 of accidents 
were rejected in the compilation of the returns as 
too vague or improbable to be counted and classi- 
fied. The list of causes accepted is as follows 
(Wines : Annals, 1884) : 

Hydrocephalus 63 

Teething 54 

Mumps 51 

Small-pox and variola. . 47 

Erysipelas 36 

Fright 32 

Water in the ear 25 

Sunstroke 21 

Noises and concussions 21 

Tumors 11 

Chicken-pox 10 

Struck by lightning 10 

Foreign bodies in the 

ear 9 

Salt rheum 3 

Malformation of the ear 2 

Syphilis 2 

Consumption 1 

Meningitis 2,856 

Scarlet fever 2,695 

Malarial and typhoid 

fevers 571 

Measles 448 

Fevers, non-malarial.... 381 
Catarrh and catarrhal 

fevers 324 

Other inflammations of 

the air passages 142 

Falls 323 

Abscesses 281 

Whooping-cough 195 

Nervous affections 170 

Scrofula 131 

Quinine 78 

Blows and contusions . . 74 
Inflammations of the 

ear 72 

Diphtheria 70 

Total 9,209 

It will be noticed that meningitis, which in the 
census returns includes cerebro-spinal meningitis, 

pachymeningitis, convulsions, fits, etc., stands at the 
head of the list. The proportion of cases from this 
cause would probably be still further increased in a 
census of the deaf in the United States under thirty 
years of age, since epidemic cerebro-spinal menin- 
gitis has been the most frequent occasion of deaf- 
ness in the pupils admitted into many of our schools 
during the past twenty years. The same is true of 
some parts of Europe, especially the northeastern 
provinces of Germany. Scarlet fever is second on 
the United States Census list, and either first or 
second on most of our school lists ; until the preva- 
lence of cerebro-spinal meningitis it almost always 
ranked first in this country. In Europe typhoid 
fever seems to come next after cerebral affections 
and before scarlet fever (Hartmann : "2'aubstum- 
menheit" etc.). 


With respect to mental condition and character- 
istics, the division of the deaf into, several distinct 
classes, mentioned at the beginning of this article, 
is of the greatest importance. Semi-mutes, who 
have acquired an idiomatic use of spoken language 
before hearing was lost, retain to a greater or less 
degree the modes of thought and mental charac- 
teristics of hearing persons. They think in words 
and express themselves easily and naturally in the 
language of their childhood. In the course of time, 
especially if they are not encouraged to use the 
voice in conversing with others, they may lose their 
memory of sound and may cease to pronounce words 
mentally ; but even then, if they have learned to 
read and write, words in their written or printed 
form will serve them as natural and convenient in- 
struments of thought. 

Since semi-mutes, on account of their deafness, 
cannot, as a rule, be educated in common schools, 
and their number in any community is usually too 
small to justify the establishment of special schools 
for them, they are educated with deaf-mutes, many 
of the processes of instruction beyond the element- 
ary stage being equally applicable to both classes ; 
but the semi-mute always has a great advantage 
over his deaf-mute classmate in his command of 
language This distinction, though it is often ex- 
plained by candid teachers, is not always understood 
by visitors to the school-room ; and the public are 
thus sometimes misled as to the actual attainments 
of deaf-mutes. In mental vigor, and in the acqui- 
sition of general knowledge, the true deaf-mute, 
notwithstanding he is heavily handicapped in re- 
spect to language, will not infrequently surpass the 
semi-mute ; but most of the cases of remarkable 
facility in composition and of great success in artic- 
ulation that astonish the undiscriminating public at 
exhibitions belong to the class of semi-mutes, as do 
also nearly all the deaf persons who have distin- 
guished themselves in later life as authors and poets. 

Between the semi-mute and the congenital deaf- 
mute, but more closely allied with the latter than 
the former, stands the " quasi-congenital " deaf- 
mute. He retains no conscious memory of words ; 
he must acquire written language or vocal speech 
by the same laborious processes as if he had never 
heard ; in his attempts at composition he makes the 
same curious mistakes as the congenital deaf-mute ; 
and yet it is a fact often observed by teachers that 
children of this class do learn language more easily 
and successfully, and adapt themselves more readily 
to the modes of thought of hearing persons, than 
those who are born deaf or lose their hearing soon 
after birth. When we remember how vivid are the 
impressions of childhood, how full a vocabulary, 
and how much fuller a comprehension of language 
as spoken by others, a bright child obtains during 
the first two or three years of his life, it is not 
strange if the mental condition of one who loses 
hearing when he has reached this age is essentially 
different from that of one who has never heard. 
The wonder is rather that, of the immense mental 


Exhibit to 'Query 13,111. 

and linguistic acquisitions he has made through the 
sense of hearing, so little appears to remain. 

The uneducated deaf-mute who has never heard, 
or whose hearing has been lost in early infancy, has 
no knowledge whatever of the language of "words. 
This lack of language is the key to his mental con- 
dition and characteristics. He has an intelligent 
mind ; he observes, reasons, and forms conclusions ; 
but his train of thought, being carried on by means 
of mental pictures and rude gestures, is imperfect 
and incomplete, while his reasoning, being based 
upon* his own limited range of observation uncor- 
rected by the superior wisdom and wider expe- 
rience of others, is apt to lead him to erroneous 
conclusions (E. M. Gallaudet: International Review, 
1875). Careful inquiries made of educated deaf- 
mutes with respect to their ideas before instruction 
have elicited the fact that, although — like young chil- 
dren in general — they usually accept the phenomena 
of nature as a matter of course, and do not trouble 
themselves concerning their origin, yet they do 
sometimes reflect on these subjects, and frame for 
themselves various fanciful explanations of the 
means by which the most striking natural phenom- 
ena are produced ; as, for instance, that the wind 
is blown from a great bellows, and that the rain is 
poured down through small holes in the sky, that 
snow is ground out like flour from a celestial mill, 
that thunder and lightning are the discharges of 
cannon, that the stars are candles or lamps lighted 
every evening, that death is caused by the medicine 
administered to the sick person, etc., etc. None 
seem to have arrived at the idea of the existence of 
the soul, nor of a god, nor of immortality ; and there 
are only two instances on record in which they have 
reflected at all upon the origin of the world and its 
inhabitants. One girl, who had reached the age of 
fifteen before coming to school, said that she " had 
tried to think about it, but could not ; " she " thought 
the people came from the South ; " and one very in- 
telligent boy, at the age of nine years, having gained 
from his own observation an idea of the descent 
from parent to child, the propagation of animals, 
and the production of plants from seed, struggled 
long and earnestly with the question, whence came 
the first man, the first animal, and the first plant ; 
but like many wiser men, without reaching any 
satisfactory conclusion. 

The deaf-mute very early invents a language of 
signs sufficient for the expression of the common 
wants of his every-day life, and if he has intelligent 
friends who are ready to aid his attempts at the ex- 
change of ideas in this way, or if he associates with 
other deaf-mutes, this language will be extended 
and elaborated to a high degree. It becomes his 
usual mode of thought; and while he may, after 
long years of effort by his teachers and himself, 
learn to think more or less in spoken or written 
words, the language of signs always remains his 
easiest and most natural method not only of expres- 
sion but of thought. The language of words written 
or spoken is for him something strange, foreign, 
artificial ; be may master it as the hearing student 
masters a foreign tongue, so that he will think in 
it to some extent, use it with considerable freedom, 
and read it understanding^ and profitably ; but 
except in very rare cases of peculiar education and 
environment, the language of gesture is, and always 
remains, the vernacular of the deaf-mute. 

The language of words being a foreign language to 
the deaf-mute, he is liable, even after years of instruc- 
tion, to make mistakes in its use. Such mistakes, 
of course, become less frequent as his education 
advances ; but the deaf-mute who hasnever heard, or 
has lost his hearing in early infancy, rarely, if ever, 
acquires such a mastery of language as to employ 
it in speech or writing with the same readiness and 
freedom as persons who learn to speak in childhood 
through the hearing. The peculiarities in his phra- 
seology are sometimes called the " deaf -mutisms," 

and their origin has been ascribed by some writers 
to the inversions of the sign-language ; but their 
main cause, like that of the blunders of foreigners, 
is merely an incomplete knowledge of the language 
of words. The " deaf-mutisms " most frequently 
observed in the school-room (Pettengill: Annals, 
1878) are the transposition of letters, as " kinfe," 
" tryant ; " the inversion of words in compounds, as 
"general-major," "a looking-good man;" the coin- 
ing of new words in analogy with those already 
learned, as "longly" (from "shortly"), " youth- 
hood ; " the doubling of negatives, as " Nobody can- 
not gaze at the sun ; " the substitution of synonyms, 
as " a secret tutor ; " the use of possessive pronomi- 
nal adjectives agreeing in gender with the noun, 
following instead of the antecedent, as " My mother 
wrote a letter to his husband ; " the employment -of 
unidiomatic though not ungrammatical phrases, as 
"He gave up his ghost," "Some martyrs were 
burned at the stakes ; " and the inappropriate use 
of expressions in themselves correct, as "Abraham, 
showed his piety by almost killing his son Isaac ; " 
" Men and women forget things, but God has an 
uncommonly good memory." 

The characteristics of an uneducated deaf-mute,, 
especially when in unfavorable social circumstances 
his natural language of signs has not been developed 
beyond its most rudimentary stage, are what might 
be expected. Cut off from communication with his 
kind, misinterpreting alike the order of nature and the 
actions of his fellow-men, he is apt to become melan- 
choly, suspicious, treacherous, and cruel. The 
neglect on the part of parents and friends which, 
from any motive whatever, allows the deaf-mute 
child to grow up in this condition, when, as in the 
United States, the benefits of education are freely 
offered to all, is simply criminal. 

A wisely conducted education, giving the deaf- 
mute writing or speech as a means of communica- 
tion, and imparting just views of his relations to 
God and his fellow-men, tends to correct the defects 
above-mentioned, and enables him to take his proper 
place in the world as an active and useful member of 
society. Almost the only peculiarity that distin- 
guishes the educated deaf-mute in general from 
hearing persons, aside from the physical fact of 
deafness, and more or less constraint in the idio- 
matic use of language, is the manifestation of a 
decided preference for the society of others like 
himself rather than of those who hear and speak. 
There are deaf-mutes of whom this is not true, but 
they must be regarded as exceptions to the general 
rule. This tendency is deplored by many of their 
best friends, since it leads them to regard them- 
selves as a separate class, to weaken the ties bind- 
ing them to the rest of the community, which ought 
rather to be strengthened, and to result in their 
marriage with one another (E. M. Gallaudet : An- 
nals, 1873). Some writers even condemn the pres- 
ent method of instructing the deaf, on the ground 
that they foster this tendency (Bell: "Memoir," 
etc., 1884) ; but no one has yet proved that there is 
any practicable method of instruction yielding sat- 
isfactory results that will prevent its development. 
It should be added that the results of the disposi- 
tion of the deaf to associate together are not wholly 
evil ; see " Eeligious "Work for Adults," infra. 


Since the scrofulous diathesis frequently exists in 
deaf-mutes, and since the maladies that cause deaf- 
ness are in some cases the result of an imperfect 
physical constitution, and in others leave a previ- 
ously sound constitution debilitated and impaired, 
we should expect to find the percentage of mor- 
bidity in persons of this class higher than among 
hearing persons. We have few records on this 
point except those of our schools, and the latter not 
in a statistical form ; but it is the general testimony 
of the heads of schools that their pupils, as a rule, 

Exhibit to Queet 13,111. 


enjoy excellent health — quite as good as the aver- 
age health of hearing children. This is probably 
due to the regular habits, wholesome food, well- 
ventilated rooms, and out-of-door exercise afforded 
by institution life, which counteract any unfavora- 
ble constitutional tendencies that may exist. 

Thirty years ago consumption was regarded as a 
disease to which the deaf were peculiarly liable, 
since statistics collected by Porter and Peet in this 
country, Wilde in Ireland, and Miiller in Germany, 
•showed that a large proportion of deaths among them 
were due to this cause (H. P. Peet : Annals, 1834) ; 
but within recent years consumption has not been 
observed to be specially prevalent among the deaf. 

It is sometimes asserted that the lungs of the 
deaf-mutes are ill-developed on account of their 
lack of exercise in speech. But, aside from the fact 
that deaf children do generally use their voices con- 
siderably, making a great variety of sounds, the 
expansion of the lungs in respiration really suffices 
for their proper development (Hartmann : " Taub- 
stummenheit "). A careful examination of the lungs 
of the students of the National Deaf-Mute College 
at Washington, with a view to cautioning them 
against violent gymnastic exercises in case of pul- 
monary weakness, showed only one out of fifty with 
any tendency in that direction. 

The Census of the United States for 1880 gives 
a surprisingly large number of deaf persons who 
are afflicted in other respects, 245 being blind, 268 
insane, 2,122 idiotic, 30 blind and insane, and 217 
blind and idiotic, making a total of 2,882 who are 
doubly or trebly afflicted (Wines : Annals, 1884). 
These returns seem to indicate that there exists 
some co-relation between the several defects of the 
senses, since persons having one of these defects 
appear to be more liable to the others than persons 
normally constituted, and persons having two de- 
fects appear to be more liable to be otherwise 
afflicted than persons having a single defect (Bell : 
Science, 1885). It is not safe to comment on these 
statistics in advance of the publication of Mr. 
Wines' special Report on the Census, which will 
doubtless give details throwing important light 
upon them. I will only venture to suggest that 
probably a considerable number of those reported 
as deaf and blind have lost their sight and hearing 
from the same disease, and possibly some of them 
are deaf-mutes who have lost their sight in old age ; 
that many of those reported as deaf-mute and 
idiotic are not deaf, but are mute from mental inca- 
pacity ; and that a majority of those reported as 
deaf-mute and insane are uneducated deaf-mutes, 
the social condition and environment of whom are 
often such as would naturally result in insanity. 


The reasons given above for expecting a higher 
rate of morbidity in deaf-mutes than in hearing 
persons, together with their greater liability to fatal 
accidents in the street, on the railway, etc., on ac- 
count of their inability to hear warnings of danger, 
indicate the probability of a higher rate of mortal- 
ity also ; but there are at present no comparative 
tables on a scale sufficiently extended to enable us 
to form a definite conclusion. An inquiry made 
thirty years ago into the number of deaths of 650 
pupils in four American schools during ten years 
showed a rate thirty-seven per cent, higher than in 
the general population (H. P. Peet: Annals, 1834); 
but two of these schools were in large cities, and 
their mortality was considerably greater than in 
schools more favorably situated, while the total num- 
bers and the limits of age were too small for gen- 
eralization. Hartmann (" Taubstummenheit ") com- 
pares 4,247 deaf-mutes of Prussia and Bavaria with 
all the inhabitants of thirteen German states in quin- 
quennial groups of ages from five to fifty years of 
age, and concludes that there is a somewhat greater 
mortality among the deaf-mutes than among the 


total population, but that the difference is so slight 
that no conclusion can be drawn from it. 

It is to be hoped that the necessary statistics for 
determining this important question may soon be 
afforded, since at present some insurance companies 
refuse to accept risks on the lives of deaf persons 
on any terms, in the belief that their expectation of 
life is considerably less than that of hearing persons. 


Since the education of the deaf has become gen- 
eral, marriage among them has ceased to be rare. 
In Germany, according to the Census of 1871, 6.3 
per cent, of the male deaf-mutes and 3 per cent, of 
the female deaf-mutes were married (Mayr : " Bei- 
trcige zur Statistik" 1877). For other countries I 
have no complete statistics, but the records of the 
graduates of American schools for the deaf indicate 
a much larger proportion of marriages than those 
given for Germany. Of 5,738 pupils admitted into 
five American schools up to the year 1882, 1,089, or 
nineteen per cent, have been married. As the total 
number of pupils here given includes the children 
in school at the date of the report, and some others 
not yet arrived at a marriageable age, the true per- 
centage is considerably higher. Of 1,259 of those 
pupils who were born before 1840, 571, or 45.4 per 
cent., were married (Bell : " Memoir," etc.), and this 
rate is probably an approximation to the true per- 
centage of married deaf-mutes in the United States. 
The larger proportion of marriages in the United 
States than in Germany is probably to be explained 
by the more prosperous circumstances of American 

Of the 1,089 former pupils above recorded as 
married, 856, or 78.6 per cent., married deaf per- 
sons. The objection to marriages of this kind is 
the probability that under some circumstances the 
defect will be transmitted to the offspring. On the 
other hand it is said to be in favor of such mar- 
riages, that, as a rule, they are more likely to be har- 
monious and congenial than when deaf-mutes are 
unequally yoked together with hearing persons. As 
the statistics already gathered show that under cer- 
tain circumstances the deaf may, and under others 
they cannot, marry one another without danger of 
transmitting the defect, we may reasonably hope 
that the time is not distant when the conditions 
under which deafness is transmitted will be so well 
understood that, in many cases, the deaf may be 
advised to follow the choice of their own hearts in 
this respect without any fear whatever of evil con- 
sequences ; while in other cases, where they ought 
not to marry persons similarly afflicted, or, possibly 
not to marry at all, they may be warned more effec- 
tively than at present of the danger incurred. (See 
Heredity, supra.) 


Uneducated deaf-mutes can and do perform un- 
skilled labor, but the competition here is so great, 
and they are at so much disadvantage in various 
ways as compared with hearing persons, that, though 
they are sometimes self-supporting, they are often 
more or less a burden upon their friends or upon 
the community. 

With educated deaf-mutes the case is very differ- 
ent. In most of our American schools the impor- 
tance of industrial instruction is fully recognized and 
several hours of each day are devoted to this pur- 
pose. The occupations taught are, for the boys, 
baking, basket-making, bookbinding, broom-mak- 
ing, cabinet-making, carpentry, chair-making, coop- 
ery, farming, gardening, glazing, mattress-making, 
painting, printing, shoemaking, tailoring, and wood- 
turning ; for the girls, cooking, domestic, and orna- 
mental sewing, both with and without the machine, 
dress-making, shirt-making, tailoring, and the fold- 
ing and stitching of sheets for the bookbinder. In- 
struction in clay modelling, drawing, decorating, 


Exhibit to Query 13,111. 

etc., enables some of both sexes to engage in various 
pursuits of industrial art and in pure art. In some 
instances the pupils are made thorough masters of 
their trades while at school, so that they immediately 
command remunerative positions upon graduating ; 
and even in the greater number of cases where they 
merely acquire the principles of a trade, familiarity 
with the use of tools, dexterity, and habits of indus- 
try, they find it much easier to master the business 
afterward, or to learn some new trade, than would 
be possible if no attention had been paid to indus- 
trial education. 

The list of occupations pursued by educated deaf 
persons includes not only the industries above men- 
tioned as taught at school, but almost every pur- 
suit that does not require the actual use of hearing 
and speech. The great majority are engaged in va- 
rious branches of skilled industry ; some are artists, 
or workers in industrial art : while among the more 
intelligent and highly educated, especially those who 
have enjoyed the advantages of the College at Wash- 
ington, are many government clerks, many teachers 
of the deaf, several clergymen preaching to the deaf, 
and several editors, publishers, merchants, invent- 
ors, chemists, and lawyers. 


Under the Justinian Code, deaf-mutes who could 
not read and write were classed with the insane and 
idiotic, and had therefore no legal rights nor re- 
sponsibilities. A better comprehension of their men- 
tal condition has led to considerable modification of 
their legal status, so far at least as their rights are 
concerned. It has been decided repeatedly, both in 
England and America, that an uneducated deaf mute 
who possesses sufficient intelligence to express his 
ideas, wishes, and intentions by signs can make con- 
tracts, execute deeds, dispose of property by gift or 
by testament, and give evidence in court. The de- 
gree of intelligence and facility of communication 
can usually be determined by the testimony of ac- 
quaintances or of experienced teachers of the deaf 
(H. P. Peet : " Legal Rights and Responsibilities of 
the Deaf and Dumb," 1856). 

The uneducated but not unintelligent deaf-mute 
who commits crime against property — usually theft 
— is generally and properly held responsible for the 
act ; but in the case of serious crime against the per- 
son — as, for instance, homicide under the provoca- 
tion of cruelty — his moral and legal responsibility 
is not so easy to determine. In such cases, which 
have been unhappily frequent in proportion to the 
number of this class of persons, judges and juries, 
especially in view of the death penalty, have nat- 
urally shrunk from the decision that the deaf-mute 
without any education was morally and legallyre- 
sponsible, and he has either through an appeal by 
his counsel to the old law classing deaf-mutes with 
the insane and idiotic escaped trial altogether, or 
through the sympathy or disagreement of the jury 
been acquitted (I. L. Peet : " Psychical Status and 
Criminal Responsibility of the Totally Uneducated 
Deaf and Dumb," 1872). 

Educated deaf-mutes who can communicate with 
others orally or by writing occupy the same posi- 
tion before the law as hearing persons. 

It is creditable to the character of the present 
generation of deaf-mutes in the United States, as 
peaceable and law-abiding citizens, that of the 33,806 
returned by the enumerators of the Census of 1880, 
only four were found in jails or other prisons (Wines : 
Annals, 1884). 


It was not until the latter half of the eighteenth 
century that the first schools for the deaf were es- 
tablished. Before that period there were isolated 
cases of the education of individual deaf-mutes, be- 
ginning with the conferring of speech upon a deaf 
boy (supposed at the time to be miraculous) by 

St. John of Beverly, Archbishop of York, in the 
year 685, and becoming more and more numerous 
during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 
Several teachers of private pupils in the seventeenth 
century, especially Bonet in Spain, Wallis in Eng- 
land, and Amman iD Holland, published descriptions 
of their methods which were afterward found valua- 
ble in the more general instruction of the deaf. 

The first instruction of deaf-mutes in schools began 
about the year 1760, when, nearly at the same time, 
three schools were established independently of one 
another — in Paris by the Abbe de l'Epee, in Dres- 
den by Samuel Heinicke, and in Edinburgh by 
Thomas Braid wood. Heinicke's school a few years 
later was removed to Leipsic. Of these three teach- 
ers, De l'Epee is justly the most renowned, on ac- 
count of the benevolence and disinterestedness of 
his character. While Heinicke and Braidwood re- 
ceived only the children of rich parents and kept 
their processes of instruction as secret as possible, 
De l'Epee devoted his life and his fortune to the 
education of the poor, and published his methods 
widely, in the hope that they might be made useful 
to deaf-mutes elsewhere. 

As the successful results of the instruction given 
in these schools became known, others were estab- 
lished in other cities and countries. The first school 
in America was founded in Hartford, Conn., in the 
year 1817, by the Rev. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, 
LL. D., a young man of high education and culture, 
deeply religious spirit, and lively sympathy with the 
class to whose welfare he devoted his life. As it was 
supposed at that time that one school would suffice 
for the needs of the whole country, it received the 
name of the American Asylum. There are at pres- 
ent (1886) sixty-one such schools in the United 

The Abbe de l'Epee, though he gave some atten- 
tion to articulation teaching, depended chiefly upon 
an ingenious sign-language devised by himself as his 
means of instruction, and is thus regarded as the 
founder of the "manual," sometimes called the 
."French," method of teaching. Under his suc- 
cessor, the Abbe Sicard, articulation teaching was 
abandoned, and the manual method was pursued 
exclusively in the Paris and other French schools. 
As new schools were established in other countries, 
the manual method was adopted almost everywhere, 
except in Germany. 

Heinicke and Braidwood, while not neglecting 
other branches of education, devoted themselves 
chiefly to teaching their pupils to speak and read 
the speech of others, and so were the founders of 
the •• oral " or " German " method. In Great 
Britain the brilliant results achieved in France by 
De l'Epee and Sicard, which were regarded as su- 
perior to Braidwood's, led to the adoption of the 
manual method, or of a combination of the manual 
and oral methods, in the schools afterwards estab- 
lished. Even in Germany the ideas of De l'Epee 
and Sicard had considerable influence, leading to 
the development of a sign-language and the intro- 
duction of French methods to solne extent. Within 
recent years, however, the tendency in Germany has 
been to return to the pure oral method, and this 
method has made great progress in other countries 
also, even in France supplanting the manual method 
to a considerable degree. At an International 
Convention of instructors held at Milan, Italy, in 
1880, nearly all the teachers present, except those 
from the United States, voted in its favor, and since 
that date a majority of the European schools have 
adopted it in practice. In others a combination of 
the manual # jand oral methods is preferred. 

When the first school in the United States was 
opened at Hartford, Dr. T. H. Gallaudet introduced 
the manual method, which he learned from Sicard 
in Paris. This method, developed and improved by 
able teachers in America, prevailed almost exclu- 
sively in this country until the year 1867, when two 

Exhibit to Query 13,111. 


oral schools were established — one in New York 
and one in Massachusetts. In the same year Dr. 
E. M. Gallaudet, President of the National Deaf- 
Mute College at Washington, D. O, a son of the 
founder of deaf-mute instruction in America, spent 
six months in visiting European schools, and on his 
return presented a report in which, while he main- 
tained the soundness of the principles upon which 
the system of instruction pursued in America was 
based, he strongly urged the importance and value 
of speech and speech-i-eading to the deaf and 
recommended that all the pupils should be afforded 
opportunities of acquiring these accomplishments 
until it plainly appeared that success was unlikely 
to crown their efforts ; while with those who evinced 
facility in oral exercises the instruction should be 
continued during their entire school life. At a 
conference of Principals of American Schools, held 
in Washington in 1868, after a full and free discus- 
sion, President Gallaudet's views were almost unani- 
mously adopted. Since that time most of our 
schools, while still using the sign-language and the 
manual alphabet, have made speech and speech- 
reading in various ways a part of the course of 
instruction for a part at least of their pupils, thus 
seeking to combine the advantages of both the 
oral and manual methods. The pure oral method 
is followed in a few schools and the pure manual 
in a few others ; but the combined method in some 
form prevails in a large majority of the schools in 
the United States.* 

On the Continent of Europe schools for the deaf 
are chiefly suported by tuition fees and the volun- 
tary contributions of the benevolent, often in con- 
nection with religious societies, aided to a large ex- 
tent by state, provincial, and city governments. In 
Great Britain they are almost wholly dependent 
upon tuition fees and voluntary contributions, with 
some assistance from Boards of Guardians of the 
Poor. In the United States they are generally sup- 
ported by the State governments, and education in 
them is free to all children who are too deaf to re- 
ceive instruction in the common schools. 


There is a difference of opinion among experi- 
enced teachers as to the best age for sending deaf 
children to school. On the one hand, such children 
have so much to learn as compared with hearing 
children that their education ought to be begun as 
early as possible ; on the other, there are obvious 
objections to taking them away from their homes — 
as in the great majority of cases is necessary in 
order that they may receive proper instruction — 
while they arejtill very young. The decision must 
depend largely upon the circumstances of the individ- 
ual, and the facilities offered by the State in which 
he resides. Where the term of instruction afforded 
by the State is limited to six or seven years, and 
where children are surrounded by favorable influ- 
ences at home, probably ten or twelve is the best 
age for them to be sent to school, since experience 
has shown that the six or seven years following that 
age are those in which the most can be accomplished 
for the physical, mental, and moral development of 
the deaf-mute ; but where, as is the case in some 
States, there is no limit to the term of instruction, 
where proper provision is made for the care and 
teaching of the little children by kindergarten 
methods apart from the older pupils, and especially 
where the home influences are bad, it is desirable to 
send them as young as six years of age. From six 
to ten they will make less progress at school than 
from ten to fourteen ; but if, in addition to those 
four years under ten, they remain six or seven years 
longer, they will be able to acquire a much fuller 
mastery of the language of their fellow-men, and to 
reach a far more advanced stage of education in all 

* For a fuller definition and explanation of, the various 
methods of instruction see the Annals, vol. xxvii, page 32. 

respects than if their education had not been begun 
until the years of early childhood were passed. 


The experience of more than a century has shown 
that the education of deaf-mutes can be most effi- 
ciently and successfully carried on in special board- 
ing-schools. Except in large cities, the number of 
deaf children in the community is too small to ren- 
der the organization of day-schools practicable, and 
in cities the evil influences that surround many of 
them at home, the temptations of the street out of 
school-hours, the danger of accidents in going to 
and from school, the interruptions to progress from 
tardiness and absence, and the lack of facilities for 
industrial instruction, make the results much less 
satisfactory than in the well-organized boarding- 
school, where the influences of the workshop, the 
play-ground, and the evening study-hour all com- 
bine with those of the school-room to promote the 
proper development and education of the child. 
Excellent work, however, is done in some of our day- 
schools ; for children who are surrounded by good 
influences at home, with parents, brothers, and 
sisters who will take pains to guard them from harm, 
and to advance their education out of school, the 
day-school is to be recommended in some cases, es- 
pecially during the earlier years of school-life, in 
preference to sending them away from home to the 
boarding-school. But for the great majority of 
deaf-mutes the advantage of the boarding-school 
over the day-school is shown in the fact that in the 
former the physical, intellectual, and moral welfare, 
of all the pupils is cared for in every way all the 
time, while in the latter the good gained during the 
five hours, more or less, that they are in the school- 
room five or six days of each week, is counteracted 
in many cases by the pernicious influences that sur- 
round them during the much larger portion of time 
that they are out of school. 

The idea of having deaf-mutes taught in the pub- 
he schools, wholly or in part with hearing children, 
has commended itself to many distinguished educa- 
tors, and in several countries of Europe the experi- 
ment has been faithfully and zealously tried with 
the sanction and aid of the government. It has, 
however, on account of the essential difference in 
the methods of instruction required for deaf and 
hearing children, invariably resulted in failure, and 
all systematic and organized efforts in this direction 
have now been abandoned in Europe (Gordon : An- 
nals, 1885). A plan for the establishment of deaf- 
mute schools in connection with public schools, the 
instruction given to be partly special and partly in 
common with hearing children, has recently been 
proposed in the United States by Dr. Alexander 
Graham Bell ; but experienced teachers do not share 
his expectation that it will effect a revolution in the 
methods of deaf-mute instruction, nor believe that 
under the most favorable circumstances it will pro- 
duce any other good results than those which have 
followed similar experiments in Europe, viz., the 
awakening of more interest in the subject of deaf- 
mute education, the growth of special schools in 
some places where they are needed, and in others 
the preparation of deaf children iu common schools 
for their future education in special schools by teach- 
ing them habits of neatness, order, and obedience, 
the use of the pencil and pen, counting, and some 
elementary knowledge of words ( Walther : " Geschi- 
chte des Taubstummen-Bildungswesens" 1882). 


It has been said by a high authority that " the best 
deaf-mute school is a school of one pupil," but the 
statement is not to be received without some qualifica- 
tion. In order to attain a mastery of spoken or writ- 
ten language the more individual attention the deaf 
child receives the better, and in this respect private 
instruction at home has a decided advantage over 
class instruction at school. On the other hand, the 


Exhibit to Queby 13,111. 

child taught alone at home, and thus lacking the 
stimulus of association with others placed on an 
equal footing with himself, is apt to become listless 
in study and melancholy in disposition. The best 
advice, therefore, to be given to parents whose 
means enable them to provide a private teacher is 
this : Obtain a competent tutor or governess for 
your child at three or four years of age. Let the 
efforts of this teacher for seven or eight years be 
devoted almost wholly to giving the child language, 
articulation, and speech-reading by the natural or 
intuitive method, which imitates as closely as the 
nature of the case allows the manner in which hear- 
ing children learn to speak, and let the teacher's 
efforts be heartily seconded by all the other mem- 
bers of the family. When the child is ten or twelve 
years old send him to school to pursue other 
branches of study and complete his education. 
The command of idiomatic language acquired by 
the home training is something that could not be 
imparted at school, while the moral and intellectual 
development received at school could not be at- 
tained at home. 

Intelligent parents and friends, whose pecuniary 
circumstances do not allow them to employ a pri- 
vate teacher, can themselves do a great deal in the 
way of preparing their deaf children for school-life 
by forming in them habits of order and obedience, 
and by teaching them the use of the pencil and pen, 
counting, and common words in their written forms. 
If the child already possesses speech gained before 
hearing was lost, great efforts should be made to 
retain the speech and to cultivate the habit of read- 
ing the speech of others. If any hearing exists, it 
should be utilized in practice, the aid of the hearing 
tube, trumpet, and audiphone should be tried, and 
whichever instrument proves most effective should 
be employed. In all cases the deaf child should be 
governed with the same firmness as his hearing 
brothers and sisters. While due allowance should 
be made for his inability to understand, and he 
should be protected as far as possible from the 
teasing of playmates, he can and should be taught 
strict obedience to parents, and due respect for the 
rights of others. 


A very large proportion of persons so deaf as 
usually to be classed as deaf-mutes possess more or 
less hearing. Sixty years ago Dr. Itard estimated 
the proportion of the semi-deaf among deaf-mutes 
at eighty per cent., and a commission of the French 
Academy of Medicine in 1828 recommended the es- 
tablishment in the Eoyal Institution for Deaf- Mutes 
at Paris of a special class for the semi-deaf, with a 
view to the education of the aural sense. Nothing, 
however, was actually accomplished in this direc- 
tion until the year 1882, when Mr. J. A. Gillespie, 
Principal of the Nebraska Institute, having arrived, 
independently, at conclusions similar to Itard's, or- 
ganized in his school a class of semi- deaf children. 
About fifteen per cent, of the pupils were found 
capable of instruction through the ear, directly, or 
with the aid of acoustic instruments. Mr. Gillespie's 
success led to the further investigation of the sub- 
ject by a committee appointed for the purpose by 
the Convention of Articulation Teachers held in 
New York in 1884, who have tested the hearing of 
the pupils in various schools by means of the au- 
diometer, the audiphone, ear-tubes, ear-trumpets, 
tuning-forks, bells, musical instruments, the voice, 
etc. While definite conclusions are not yet reached, 
it is evident that the hearing power that often ex- 
ists unnoticed in the deaf can in many cases be 
educated by careful and skilful training, and that a 
considerable number of the pupils of our schools 
" can and ought," as Mr. Gillespie claims, " to be 
graduated as hard-of-hearing speaking people, in- 
stead of deaf-mutes, as heretofore." 


The manual alphabets employed by educated 
deaf-mutes afford a means of communication more 
rapid and convenient than writing, and more exact 
than articulation and speech-reading. They are 
easily acquired by the friends of the deaf, and prac- 
tice gives great facility in their use. 

The single-hand alphabet is used in the schools 
of the United States following the combined and 
manual methods of instruction, and to some extent 
in those of Great Britain and her colonies. It is 
also employed in France, and with some variations 
in the other countries of Europe. It has the ad- 
vantage over the two-hand alphabet of leaving one 
hand free for other uses, as driving, or carrying 
an umbrella, at the same time that one is spelling. 

The two-hand alphabet is used in most of the 
English schools following the combined and manual 
methods of instruction, and educated deaf-mutes in 
all English-speaking countries, even where the 
single-hand alphabet is preferred, are generally fa- 
miliar with it. It is said to admit of even greater 
rapidity than the single-hand alphabet. 

The Dalgarno, or glove alphabet, is preferred in 
some schools where prominence is given to oral 
teaching, since it can be used by the sense of touch 
while the eyes of the pupil are fixed upon the 
teacher's lips, and, not being generally understood, 
it affords a less frequent means of escape from 
practice in speech and speech-reading. By a modi- 
fication of this alphabet, employed by Dr. Alexan- 
der Graham Bell, the letters are indicated by touch- 
ing various parts of the pupil's shoulder instead of 
the hand. All the letters of a short word or of 
a syllable can be made simultaneously, and the force 
of accent and rhythm can be given. 


In the year 1872, Dr. Alexander Graham Bell ap- 
plied the system of " Visible Speech," invented by 
his father, Professor Alexander Melville Bell, to the 
instruction of deaf-mutes in articulation. Visible 
Speech is a species of phonetic writing, and, as it is 
based not upon sounds but upon the action of the 
vocal organs in producing them, its principles are 
as easily comprehended by the deaf as by hearing 
persons. Each letter of the Visible Speech Alpha- 
bet, to a person familiar with the system, is a picture 
of the vocal organs placed in the proper position 
for producing the sound indicated, so that the writ- 
ing of any word in this alphabet shows its correct 
pronunciation. Visible Speech has been introduced 
into several schools in the United States, and is re- 
garded by some teachers as a useful aid in their 
work. Others, including some of the most experi- 
enced oral teachers, look upon it as more of a hin- 
drance than a help to young children, for whom, it is 
said, its symbols are no less arbitrary than the 
letters of the English alphabet. All are agreed, 
however, that the principles of physiological speech 
taught in Professor Melville Bell's works are very 
valuable to teachers of articulation. 

Dr. Graham Bell has recently (1885; introduced 
a modification of one of his father's alphabets called 
Line- Writing, which has the advantage of being 
much more rapidly written than the symbols of Visi- 
ble Speech heretofore used in the instruction of the 


The standard of education in schools for deaf- 
mutes at the present day corresponds in general to 
that of the common schools — an education fitting 
the pupir for intelligent citizenship. But there are 
some among the deaf who are capable of advancing 
beyond this standard and preparing themselves for 
scientific and literary pursuits. The United States 
makes provisions for the wants of this class in the 
National Deaf -Mute College established by Congress 

Exhibit to Query 13,111. 


at Washington, D. C, in the year 1864, through the 
efforts of Edward M. Gallaudet, Ph. D., LL. D., 
who has been its president from the beginning. 
This college affords a course of training correspond- 
ing to that of American colleges in general, with 
such modifications as seem desirable in view of the 
peculiar needs of the deaf, and confers upon its 
graduates the usual academic degrees. Of the 
students who have been connected with the college 
a large number are now engaged in teaching, several 
are editors and publishers, others are in the civil 
service of the government, one is a lawyer practis- 
ing in the Supreme Court of the United States, one 
is at the head of large assaying works in Chicago, 
one is a missionary to the deaf in Pennsylvania, and 
nearly all are occupying positions of a higher grade 
than would have been possible without the educa- 
tional advantages conferred by the college course. 


The moral and religious instruction given in most 
of the American schools for the deaf is of an un- 
sectarian character, the pupils being advised by 
their teachers to connect themselves during their 
vacations, or after leaving the schools, with the 
churches to which their parents belong. Adult, 
deaf-mutes, however, can derive much more pleasure 
and profit from special services in the sign-language 
than from ordinary religious exercises, and in places 
where their numbers are sufficiently large to form a 
congregation the holding of such services is en- 

tirely practicable. The Bev. Thomas Gallaudet, D. 
D., of New York, established a church for deaf- 
mutes in that city in 1852, and, through his efforts 
and those of other friends of the deaf, arrangements 
are now made by which religious services in the 
sign-language are held weekly in several cities of 
the United States, and at less frequent intervals in 
many other places. The Episcopal Church, with 
which Dr. Gallaudet is connected, has been by far 
the most active in providing for the religious wel- 
fare of adult deaf-mutes, but other churches have 
also had a part in the work. There are now (1886) 
five ordained clergymen in the United States who 
are themselves deaf — three of them Episcopalians, 
and two Congregationalists — and there are a large 
number of deaf laymen who assist in missionary 
work. Similar work for the benefit of adult deaf- 
mutes is carried on in Great Britain and Ireland. 
In connection with the religious organizations there 
usually exist benevolent and relief societies, and in 
some cases literary and social unions. While this 
association of the deaf with one another, rather than 
with hearing persons, is to be regretted on some 
accounts (see Mental Condition and Characteristics, 
supra), it is also productive of good in the mutual 
aid and support it leads them to render, the com- 
fort and enjoyment they derive from the free inter- 
change of thought and sentiment, and the opportu- 
nities it affords for their intellectual, moral, and 
religious instruction. 

Exhibit to Query 13,125. 


[This Exhibit consisted of the following tables from the American Annals for the Deaf, January, 1886, Vol. XXXI, 
pp. 82-91.] 


A. — Public Schools. 




o . 



Chief Executive Officer. 

1 American Asylum for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb 

2 New York Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb.. 

3 Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb 

4 Kentucky Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb. 

5 Ohio Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb 

6 Virginia Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb and 

the Blind. 

7 Indiana Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb...... 

8 Tennessee School for the Deaf and Dumb i 

9 North Carolina Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind. 

10 Illinois Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb 

11 Georgia Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb 

12 South Carolina Institution for Education of the Deaf and Dumb 

and the Blind. 

13 Missouri Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb 

14 Louisiana Institution for the Deaf and Dumb 

15 Wisconsin School for the Deaf. 

16 Michigan Institution for Educating the Deaf and Dumb 

17 Iowa Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb 

18 Mississippi Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb.. 

19 Texas Deaf and Dumb Asylum 

21 Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb 

A. Kendall School for the Deaf 

B. National Deaf -Mute College 

21 Alabama Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind. 

22 California Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind.. 

23 Kansas Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb 

24 Le Couteulx St. Mary's Institution for Deaf and Dumb 

25 Minnesota School for the Deaf 

26 Institution for the Improved Instruction of Deaf-Mutes 

27;Clarke Institution for Deaf-Mutes 

28 Arkansas Deaf-Mute Institute 

29 Maryland School for the Deaf and Dumb 

30 Nebraska Institute for the Deaf and Dumb 

31 Horace Mann School for the Deaf 

32 St. Joseph's Institution for the Improved Instruction of Deaf- 

Mutes (/). 

33 West Virginia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and Blind 

34 Oregon School for Deaf-Mutes 

35 Maryland School for Colored Blind and Deaf-Mutes 

36 Colorado Institute for Mute and Blind 

37 Chicago Deaf-Mute Day Schools (A'j : 

38 Central New York Institution for Deaf-Mutes 

39 Cincinnati Day-School for Deaf-Mutes 

40 Western Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb 

41, Western New York Institution for Deaf-Mutes 

42 Portland School for the Deaf 

43 Rhode Island School for the Deaf 

44 St. Louis Day-School for Deaf-Mutes 

45 N'c-\v England Industrial School for Deaf-Mutes 

46IDakota School for Deaf-Mutes 

47jMilwaukee Day-School for the Deaf. 

4* Pennsylvania Oral School for Deaf-Mutes 

49!New Jersey School for Deaf-Mutes 

50 Deseret School for Deaf-Mutes 

5l!Northern New York Institutiou for Deaf-Mutes 

52 Florida Blind and Deaf-Mute Institute 

53 Public Schools, including the National College. 
11 Denominational and Private Schools. I A) 

64 Schools in the United States. 

Hartford, Conn 1817Job Williams, M. A., Principal. 

Wash. Heights, New York,N. Y. 1818! {gE^.S^&SSSS: 

Philadelphia, (m) Pa 1820 A. L. E. Crouter, M. A., Principal. 

Danville, Ky 1823 w. K. Argo, B. A., Superintendent. 

Columbus, Ohio 1829 Amasa Pratt, M. A., do. 

Staunton, Va 1839 Thomas S. Doyle, Principal. 

Indianapolis, Did 1844 

Knoxville, Tenn 1845 

Raleigh, N. C 1845 

Jacksonville, 111 1846 

Cave Spring, Ga 1846 

Cedar Spring, S. O. 1849 

Fulton, Mo 

Baton Rouge, La 

Delavan, Wis 

Flint, Mich 

Council Bluffs, Iowa 

Jackson, Miss 

Austin, Texas 

Kendall Green, near Wash., D. C. 



Talladega, Ala 

Berkeley, Cal 

Olathe, Kansas 

Buffalo, (i) N. Y 

Faribault, Minn 

New York, (o) N. Y 

Northampton, Mass 

Little Hock, Ark 

Frederick City, Md. 

Omaha, Neb 

Boston, (6) Mass 

Fordham, N. Y 

Romney, W. Va 

Salem, Oregon 

Baltimore, (c) Md 

Colorado Springs, Colo 

Chicago, HI 

Rome, N. Y 

Cincinnati, (e) Ohio 

Edgewood, near Wilkinsburg, Pa 

Rochester, N. Y 

Portland, Me 

Providence, (d) R. I 

St. Louis, (J) Mo 

Beverly, Mass 

Sioux Falls, D. T 

Milwaukee, (i) Wis 

Scran ton, Pa. 

Chambersburg, n'r Trenton,N. J. 

Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Malone, N. Y 

St. Augustine, Fla 


Eli P. Baker, Superintendent. 

Thomas L. Moses, Principal. 

W. J. Young, M. A., do. 

PhilipG. Gillett, LL. D., Superintend't. 

W. O. Connor, Principal. 

Newton F. Walker, Superintendent. 

Wm. D. Kerr, M. A., do. 

John Jastremski, M. D., do. 

John W. Swiler, M. A., do. 

M. T. Gass, M. A., do. 

Henry C. Hammond, M. A., do. 
J. R. Dobyns, do. 

Rev. Wm. Shapard, do. 

E. M. Gallaudet, Ph. D., LL. D., Pres't. 
James Denison, M, A., Principal. 
E. M. Gallaudet, Ph. D., LL. D., Pres't. 
Joseph H. Johnson, M. D., Principal. 
Warring Wilkinson, M. A., do. 
S. T. Walker, Superintendent. 
Sister Mary Anne Burke, Principal. 
Jonathan L. Noyes, M. A., Sup't. 
D. Greenberger, Principal. 
Miss Harriet B. Rogers, Principal. 
Francis D. Clarke, M. A., do. 
Chas. W. Ely, M. A., do. 

John A. Gillespie, M. A., do. 
Miss Sarah Fuller, do. 

Ernestine Nardln, President. 

1870 John C. Covell, M. A., Principal. 
1870|Rev. P. S. Knight. Superintendent. 
1872|F. D. Morrison, M. A., do. 

1874 D. C. Dudley, M. A., do. 

1875 P. A. Emery, M A. Principal. 

1875 Edward B. Nelson, B. A., Principal. 

1875 A.- F. Wood, Principal. 

1876 Rev. J. G. Brown. D. D., Principal. 
1876 Z. F. Westervelt, Principal and Sup't. 

1876 Miss Ellen L. Barton, Principal. 

1877 Miss Anna M. Black, do. 

1878 D. A. Simpson, B. A., do. 
1880 Miss Nellie H. Swett, do. 
1880 James Simpson, Superintendent. 
1883 Paul Binner, Principal. 

1883 Miss Emma Garrett, Principal. 

1883 Weston Jenkins, M. A., Superintendent. 

1884 Henry C. White, B. A., Principal. 

1884 Henry C. Rider, Superintendent. 

1885 Park Terrell, Principal. 

(o) Lexington Ave., bet. 67th and 68th streets. (6) No. 68 Warrenton street. (c) No. 258 Saratoga street. (d) Cor. Fountain and Beverly streets. 

(e) Ninth street, bet. Walnut and Main. (/) This Institution has three branches ; one situated at Fordham, another at Brooklyn (510 Henry street)' 
and another at Throgg's Neck, Westchester Co., N. Y. (g) Cor. 9th and Wash, streets. (A) There are five schools in different parts of the city* 
Mr. Emery's address is 43 So. May street. (i) Corner 7th and Prairie streets. (*) See [B, p. 74]. (J) No. 125 Edward street. (m) Broad and 
Pine, and Eleventh and Clinton streets. 


Exhibit to Query 13,125. 


Public Schools — Continued. 



Method of 



American Asylum 

New York Institution.. 

Pennsylvania do.. 

Kentucky do.. 

Ohio do.. 

Virginia do 

Indiana do 

Tennessee School 

North Carolina Institution. 
Illinois do 

Georgia do 

South Carolina do 

Missouri School 




Iowa do 

Mississippi. do 

Texas Asylum 

Columbia Institution 

A. Kendall School 

B. National College 

Alabama Institution 

California do. 

Kansas do. 

Le Couteulx St. Mary's Inst. 


Oral and 

[manual, i 
Oral and 



9 to 12 and 2 to 4 

8 to 12 and 1 to 5 (&).. 

8 to 12% 


8Jf to 10X, 10% to 12%, 2 to 

Manual ... 

8^ to IX 


6% to 11% and 1 to 3 

8 to 2 

8 to II and 12, 1 to 3 and 1% 

8 tol 


8 tol 

Trades. 5 


Ddking the Yeah* S ' ? 

No. of Ih- 


■SB I O 

niifl a 

Cab., Sh., Ta 

Art.,Bak.,Cab. ,Car. CI. ,Br. 

Ga.,Gl.,Pa.,Pr.,Sh.,Ta. ; 


Bo., Car., Ga., Pr., Se 

Bo., Car., Pr., Sh 

Bo.,Cab.,Car.,Pr., Sh., Ta. 

Cab., Ch., Sh I 

Pr., Sh 

Sh j 

Bak., Cab., CI., Dr., Ga., 
Gl., Pa., Pr., Sh., Wc. 

sh ; 


Cab.,Pr., Sh 

| 414, 

': 466 






121 i 83 
262' 152, 
















:S s. a'x. 

481 169 1 2,384 16 7 9! 1 2 

la, 388i 3,074 16, S S 3 3 

143 426 2,153 34,1 10 24' 2| 3 

10, 140' 859 j 121 7 5; 3 2 

80 377 2,093! 261 15 11 6 6 

36 82! 577 n 
00 308 1, 597 18 




58( 32 

36 1 81 

160. 101 

Minnesota School 

Institution for Imp'd Iust'n 

Clarke Institution 

Arkansas Institute 

Maryland School 

Nebraska Institute 

Horace Mann School 

St. Joseph's Institution.. . 

.'8 to 12 and 1 to 3 Ba.,Car., Dr., Pi-., Se., Sh, 

8 to 11 and 12% to 3% (&) Ba ,Cab.,Car.,Pr., Se.,Sh. 

8 to 12% and 1% to 4% Car., Fa., Pr., Sh 

8 to! Cab.,Pr 

. 8J4 to ly.i Bo., Car., Pr., Sh 

33 West Virginia Institution ... 

34 Oregon School 

35 Md. Institution for Colored. 
Colorado Institute 

87 Chicago Day-Schools 

Central N. Y. Institution 

39 Cincinnati Day-School 

40 Western Penna. Institution.. 

41 Western New York Instit'n.. 

42 Portland Day-School 

43 Rhode Island School 

44 St. Louis Day-School 

45 N. E. Industrial School 

46 Dakota School 

47 Milwaukee Day-School 

48 'Pennsylvania Oral School ... 

49JNew Jersey Institution 

50iDeseret School. 

51 'Northern New York Inst'n.. 
52 Florida Institute 




Oral and 


[and aural 
and oral. 
Manual ... 








»% to 123< and2 to 3 Cab ... 

8 to 12J4 and 1% to 3% None.. 

8 tol ; 

8 to 1 CI., Gar., Pr., Wood- w'k'j 

8tol0J£, 10Xtol2H,l?^.to4Cab., Pr., Se., Sh 

8 to 12 and 1% to 4 (b) Dr., Pr., Sh.,Ta 

Public Schools 

Denom'l and Pri. Sch's (d)„ 

Sch'ls in the United States . 

8 to 12% Co.,Dr.,Pr., Sh.,Ta... 

9 to 12 and lj£ to 3J, None 

9tol2and2to4 ICab., Se 

8 to 12^ Art.,Pr., Dr.,Ga., Sh . 

7% to 9%, 9% to 12V, 2 to 

*X («)■ 
8% to 12 and 1J£ to 3 


9 to 3% 


8 to 12% 

8 tol 

8 tol 

9 to 12 and 1 to 2^ 

9to 12andl% to 3% 

9 to 12 and 1% to 4 

8J£ to 12 and ly> to 3%.. 

8% to 12><f and 2 to 4 

9 to 12 and 2 to 4 

9 tol 

8% to 12 and 1M to 3%.. 



9 to 12 and 12% to 2%.... 

9 to 2 

9 to 12 and IX to 3% 

9 tol 

9 to 12 and 1% to 3% 

8 toll and 1 to 4 

Cab.,Pr., Sh.., 

Car., Pr., Se., We 


Ba., Dr., Ga. , Sh. , Car., Ta. 

Cab., Pr., Sh., Ta 


Br., Ch 

Car., Ck., Pr., Se 


Cab., Dr., Gl., Pr., Sh 


Cab., Car.,Sh 






Fa., Gar.. 

None. .... 


Dr., Sh... 







I 100 

I 146 

! 121 

| 73 

i 48 

I 65 


































504! 1,810 

7 80 
13 57 
6U 195 


70 260 
3D 70 
331 119 
48 106 




38' 122 

50, 189 

100 136 

40 150 
182 161 

106 89 



30, 1(16 

91 I 78 

271, 2.56 


10' 43 
15! 156 
0! 24 
29 127 
179! 165 
46 45 
30! 26 




4417 3219 (72511 6660 
99 66, 107 120 

4516 328> g2618 6780 




6 5 2 2 

8 10, 4 6 

5 3 21 

5 3 4 

8 23 5 2 

7 6 

4 3 

13 6 

li 3 
2 1 





6 8! 

6 12! 


9 4 5; li 1 
9 9 
19 1 18 2i 1 

219 6 

77 3 

53 2, 

82 4, 
130 6 
270 12! 

89 2 
230 9 
256 14 

56' 5 



35 ! 




20 ! 


1| 2 




1 2 

26,095 520 220,300, 81 75 
421 20 8 12 

26,516 540 2281312 81 75 

I ! ! I I : 

* Including those who have left school during the year. t Including the principal. t Not including the semi-mute. (a) All the pupils 
are taught lip-reading for one hour daily. (!>) One session for school and one for shops, by a system of rotation. (c) Two sessions for school 

and one for shops, by a system of rotation. (d) See page 88. (e) For the year 1884. (g) Not including the pupils of the New York Institution. 
{Bak.— Baking. Bas. = Basket-making Bo. = Book-binding. Br.=Broom-making. Cab. = Cabinet-making. Car. = Carpentry. Ch. = Chair- 
making Ck.=Cooking. CI. = Clay modelling. Co.=Coopery. Dr. -.Dress-making. Fa.=Farming. Ga.= Gardening. Gl.=Glazing. 
Kn.=Knitting. Ma. = Mattress-making. Pa.=Painting. Pr.=Printing. Se.=Sewing. Sh.=Shoemaking. Ta.= Tailoring. Wc. =Wood- 
carving. We. = Wood-engraving. Wt. = Wood-turning. 


Exhibit to Query 13,125. 


Public Schools — Continued. 




How supported. 

1 American Asylum Last Wed. in June to 2d Wed. in Sept Endowment and N. E. States. 

2 New York Institution 4th Wed. in June to 1st Wed. in Sept State, co'ties, and pay pupils.. 

3 Pennsylvania do iLast Wed. in June to first Wed. in Sept State and endowment 

4 Kentucky do iLast Thurs. in June to about 1st Sept. State 

5 Ohio do Third Wed. in June to second Wed. in Sept 

6 Virginia do* Wed. before 2d Thurs. in June to first Wed. in Sept do. 

7 Indiana do 'second Wed. in June to second Wed. in Sept 

8 Tennessee School. June 10 to Sept. 15 ; 

9iNorth Carolina Institution.* i Second Wed. in June to second Wed. in Sept do. 

loilllinois do Second Wed. in June to third Wed. in Sept 

South Carolina.' 

Missouri do 

Louisiana do 

Wisconsin do June to first Wed. in Sept. 

Michigan do June 17th to Sept. 9th 

11 Georgia. 

12 - - ~ 

Third Wed. in June to second Wed. in Sept do. 

Last Wed. in June to 1st Wed. in Oct State and pay pupils- 
Second Wed. in June to second Wed. in Sept State 





1 565, 

! 459, 

Iowa.." do Middle of June to middle of Sept... j—do 

Mississippi do Third Wed. in June to Oct. 1st 

Texas Asylum 1st Wed. in June to 1st Wed. in Sept State 

20 Columbia Institution Wed. before last Wed. in June to Thurs. before last United States and pay pupils... 

Thurs. in Sept. 

Alabama do June 15th to Sept. 16th State 

California do* Second Wed. in June to 4th Wed. in August 

Kansas -do Second Wed. in June to second Wed. in Sept 

Le Couteulx St. Mary's Inst. July 1st to Sept. 1st State, co'ties, and pay pupils... 

Minnesota School June 9th to second Wed. in Sept State 






last fiscal 








949 $7, 705 








38,000 24,000 


N. Y. Inst, for Imp. Instr'n.. Third Wed. in June to first Wed. in Sept State, co'ties, and pay pupils... 

tion |Forty weeks after third Wed. in Sept. to third Wed. in Endowm't, State, and pay p'ls. 

Clarke Institution 


28 Arkansas Institute 4th Wed. in June to first Wed. in Oct State 

49 Maryland School..." Third Wed. in June to second Wed. in Sept | 

30 Nebraska Institute Middle of June to middle of Sept 

31 Horace Mann School Last Tues. in June to first Mon. in Sept State and city 

32 St. Joseph's Institution Last Fri. in June to first Mon. in Sept State, co'ties, and pay pupils.. 

33 West Virginia Institution*... Forty weeks after first Mon. in Sept. to first Mon. in State 

i Sept. 

34 Oregon School May 1st to Sept. 1st State and voluntary cont'ions 

35'Md. Institution for Colored* June 20th to Sept. 10th State 

36 Colorado Institute* First Wed. in June to first Wed. in Sept ' 

75,000, 16,000 
350,000' 45,649 
126,000! 32,000 
120,000 30,000 
200,000 32,000 
320,000 30,336 

90,000 27,334 




Chicago Day-Schools | Last Fri. in June to first Mon. in Sept | 

Central N. Y. Institution I Second Wed. in June to third Wed. in Sept. 

Cincinnati Dav-School June 21st to Sept. 6th ;City 

Western Penna. Institution. Last Wed. in June to first Wed in Sept State and pay pupils 

Western New York Inst'n iThird Mon. in June to first Mon. in Sept | State, co'ties, and pay pupils . 

~ - - - - _ . . - - - -- . - Stateandcity 



Voluntary contributions 


State aid 

City and voluntary cont'ions. 



State and counties 









Portland Day-School Last Fri. before July 4th to second Mon. In Sept.. 

Rhode Island School June 26th to Sept 1st 

44iSt. Louis Day-School Second Thurs. in June to first Mon. in Sept.. 

45 N. E. Industrial School. Middle of June to second Wed. in Sept.. 



46 Dakota School Second Wed. in June to second Wed. in Sept.. 

47 Milwaukee Day-School July 3d to first Mon. in Sept 

48 Penna. Oral School , Third week in June to Sept. 1 

49 New Jersey Institution Last Thurs. in June to second Wed. in Sept.... 

50 Deseret School May 28th to August 16th 

SrNorthern N. Y. Institution.. Second Wed. in June to second Wed. in Sept.. 
52'Florida Institute* Second Mon. in June to 1st Mon. in Oct 

53 Public Schools. 

11 Denominational and Private 1 

— I Schools. 

64 Schools in the United States. 













12, bob 
























" Contains a department for the blind also, the expenses of which are included in the statement of expenditures. 
B. — Denominational and Private Schools. 

Chief Executive Officer. 

1 Whipple's Home School for Deaf-Mutes 

2 German Evangelical Lutheran Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. 

3 St. John's Catholic Deaf-Mute Institute , 

4 Mr. Knapp's Institute „ 

5 St. Joseph's Deaf-Mute Institute 

6 Mr. Bell's Private School for Deaf Children 

7, Chicago Voice and Hearing School for the Deaf 

8 Private School for Teaching Deaf Children to Speak 

9 Washington School for Defective Youth 

10 Convent of Maria Consilia Deaf-Mute Institute 

11 New Mexico School for the Deaf and Dumb 

Mystic Eiver, Conn 

Norris, Mich 

St. Francis, Wis 

Baltimore, Md , 

Hannibal, Mo 

Washington, D. C. (o). 

Englewood, DL 

Philadelphia, Pa. (o) 

Tacoma, W. T 

St. Louis. Mo. (d) 

Santa Fe, N. M 


N. F. Whipple, Principal. 

D. H. Uhlig, Director. 

Rev. Chas. Fessler, President. 

F. Knapp, Principal. 

Sisters of St. Joseph. 

A. Graham Bell, Ph. D., Superintendent. 

Miss Mary McCowen, Principal. 

Miss Mary S. Garrett, Principal. 

Rev. W. D. McFarland, Director. 

Sisters of St. Joseph. 

Lars M. Larson, B. A., Principal. 

(a) No. 1234 Sixteenth Street. 

(6) No. 7 Merrick Street. 

(d) 1849 Cass Avenue. 

Exhibit to Query 13,125. 


B. — Denominational and Private Schools — Continued. 


Whipple's Home School (e) 

Germ. Ev. Lutheran Institution... 

St. John's Catholic Institute 

Mr. Knapp's Institute 

St. Joseph's Institute. 

Mr. Bell's School 

Voice and Hearing School 

Philadelphia School 

Washington School 

Maria Consilia Institute 

New Mexico School. 

lllDenom. and Private Schools . 


During the 


9 3 
24 16 
28 17 



No. of Irf- 

.3 73 ? 

is a £ 




Method of In- 





1 Experimental. . 
Oral and aural. 





9 to 12 and 1 to 4%.... 

5% hours. 

Eight hours 

9 to 2 

9 to 11% and 1 to 3%. 

9 to 2 

9 to 4. 

9 to 2 



None. [making. 

Farming, Printing, Sewing, Shoe- 






How Supported. 

No. pupils 

have rec'd 



Germ. Ev. Lutheran Inst'n 

Tuition fees and Lutheran Congregations 





Mr. Bell's School 

Voice and Hearing School 

Philadelphia School 

Tuition fees 

Last Thursday in May to last Wednesday in August.. 


* Including the pupils who have left during the year, f Including the principal. tNot including the semi- mute teachers, (c) For the year 1884. 



' 6 







Chief Executive Officer. 

Catholic Male Deaf and Dumb Institution for the Province of Quebec.. 
Institution for the Female Deaf and Dumb of the Province of Quebec. 

Mile-End, n'r Mon.,Can. 


Kev. J. B. Manseau, P. 8. V., Principal. 

Sister Philippe, Superior. 

J. Scott Hutton, M. A., Principal. 

R. Mathison, Superintendent. 

Miss Harriet E. McGann, Superintend'^ 

A. H. AbeU, Principal. 

Albert F. Woodbridge, Principal. 

Halifax, N. S 

Mackay Institution for Protestant Deaf and Dumb and the Blind. . 

Portland, N. B 

Fredericton Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb 

Schools in Canada. 


1 Catholic Institution (Male) 

2 Catholic Institution (Female).. 

Halifax Institution.. 

Ontario Institution 

Mackay Institution 

New Brunswick Institution (A)., 
Fredericton Institution (b) 


During the 



185 185 

74, 39 35 

284 168 116 

45i 25 20 

32' 23 9 

20 | U i 
757 3831374 



30 74 

60 139 
10 68 
33 243 

12> 36 



No. or Ik- 




Method of In- 

Manual and 




Five hours . 

8)4 to UK and 1 to 3%.. 


Bo., Cab., Car., Fa., Ga.,Pa., 

Pr., Sh., Ta., Wt. 

9 to 11, 11 Jf to 12% and 2 to 4. ;Car., Ga., Sh. 

do ]9 to 12 and 1^ to 3 iCar., Dr., Sh., Ta. 


Manual ... 

to 12 and 1J$ to S% Cab., Car., Dr., Pr. 

' to 12 and 2 to 4 Icar., Fa., Pa., Se., Sh., Ta. 

do None. 


1 Catholic Inst'n (Male) 

2 Catholic Dist'n (Female).. 

3 Halifax Institution 

4 Ontario Institution 

B, Mackay Institution 

6 New Brunswick Inst'n 

7i Fredericton Institution... 


How Supported. 

Last Wed. in June to first Wed. in Sept State, pupils, and vol. contributions... 

State and voluntary contributions 

State and voluntary contributions 


State, pupils, and vol. contributions... 

July 1st to first Tues. in Sept 
Second Wed. in July to first Wed. in Sept... 
Third Wed. in June to second Wed. in Sept. 
Third Wed. in June to second Wed. in Sept. 

May 17 to Aug. 6 iPupils and voluntary contributions. 

July 1st to Sept. 1st ^State and voluntary contributions 

£ ° 


j tuhe Last 
Fiscal Yeab 


a . 

A"0 • 

p n 
f n a 




202,718 38,749 
50,000 7,700 


a . 

o a 

► a 






a S 

a> . 

s'3 9 

. £3 












* Including those who have left school during the year, t Including the principal, t Not including the semi-mute teachers. 5 Comprising indus- 
trial instructors. **Bo.=Book-binding. Cab. = Cabinet-making. Car. = Carpentry. Dr. = Dress-making. Fa.=Farming. Ga =Gardeninc 
Pa. ^Painting. Pr.=Printing. Se.=Sewing. Sh.=Shoemaking. Ta.=Tailoring. Wt.= Wood-turning. (a) No. 401 St. Denis street 

6) For the year 1884. 


Exhibit to Query 13,140. 


[This Exhibit consisted of the following paper by Mr. A. L. E. Crouter, published in the proceedings of the Eleventh 
Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf, 1886, pp. 146-152.] 

The relative merits of tiie oral, manual, and com- 
bined methods of instruction, as pursued in Ameri- 
can institutions for the deaf, have been so frequently 
and fully discussed that their further consideration 
may possibly appear to many superfluous ; but, in 
view of the fact that these discussions have, as yet, 
led to no conclusions that have been accepted by 
the adherents of the different methods, I trust that 
a brief exposition of the defects of certain of them, 
and of the advantages of a system which I am led 
by experience to believe possesses the merits of all 
of tbem, with the smallest possible proportion of 
the defects of any, may be of interest to the mem- 
bers of this convention. 

In the American A nnals of the Deaf and Dumb, 
of January, 1882, Professor Fay, of the National 
Deaf-Mute College, says, after briefly describing 
the oral method of instruction : " The combined 
method is not so easy to define, as the term is ap- 
plied to several distinct methods, such as : (1) the 
free use of signs and articulation with the same 
pupils and by the same instructors, throughout the 
course of instruction ; (2) the general instruction 
of all the pupils by means of the manual method, 
with the special training of part of them in articu- 
lation and lip-reading, as an accomplishment ; (3) 
the instruction of some pupils by the manual 
method and others by the oral method, in the same 
institution ; (4) although this is rather a combined 
system, the employment of the manual method and 
oral method in separate schools and under the same 
general management, pupils being placed in one 
establishment or the other, as seems best in each 
individual case." 

In this concise yet comprehensive statement, Pro- 
fessor Fay sets forth very clearly the salient feat- 
ures of the four distinct methods of instructing 
the deaf that are severally and collectively included 
in the term, " The American or Combined Method." 

Beyond pointing out their advantages and com- 
mending them to the serious attention of the mem- 
bers of the convention, and especially of those who 
are at the head of large schools, where a system of 
classification according to the natural powers of 
deaf children can be most fully and profitably car- 
ried out, I shall have but little to say concerning 
the last two of the methods enumerated ; but the 
first and second are so fraught with what, after 
a somewhat lengthy personal experience, I have 
come to believe is hurtful to the best interests of 
the deaf, that I propose to state, as briefly as the 
nature of the subject will allow, my objections to 
them, and to urge their discontinuance as a part 
of the American system of instruction. 

The first of these methods seeks, by the free use 
of both signs and articulation, by the same teachers, 
in the same classes, to instruct all deaf children in 
spoken and written language and other branches of 
study. It is to this and to the succeeding method 
that reference is most commonly made when the 
term " combined method " is used. A more appro- 
priate name for it would be, in my opinion, the 
mixed method, for there can certainly be no combi- 
nation between two elements for a system of in- 
struction which not only do not work together for 
a common object, but positively antagonize each 
other. A teacher working under this method not 
only tries to teach, by the aid of signs, the ordinary 
branches of a common-school education, which, 
with deaf children, is a sufficiently difficult task 
when performed under the most favorable circum- 
stances, but, also, attempts to impart, as a separate 
branch of study, a knowledge of articulation and 
lip-reading. Here we have two entirely distinct 


and independent objects to be attained, each of 
which ordinarily demands the whole time and atten- 
tion of an earnest instructor for its accomplishment. 
He then must be twice a man who, unaided, can 
bring about their satisfactory fulfilment. Mark 
that the purpose is not to give instruction orally in 
the ordinary branches of study (this is done by 
manual means), but to teach articulation and lip- 
reading in addition to them. Time thus devoted 
to articulation and speech-reading, as an accom- 
plishment, is time taken from the other branches ; 
it is insufficient for the attainment of the object 
in view, and, as a result, the child usually leaves 
school with imperfect powers of articulation which 
he soon loses from a disinclination to use them 
(which disinclination arises principally from his own 
knowledge of his imperfections), and, frequently, 
an inadequate knowledge of other and more essen- 
tial branches of study. 

Oral and manual instruction cannot be success- 
fully imparted in the same class. The methods are 
diametrically opposed to each other, and when pur- 
sued thus closely together they expend their pow- 
ers in counteracting the influence for good that each 
possesses. Under this form, the semi-mute, to 
whom the oral method is obviously best adapted, 
falls gradually into the habits of manual communi- 
cation, with resulting detriment to his speech and 
speech-reading, while, to the congenital mute, the 
time thus devoted to articulation is ordinarily time 
wasted. Another defect of this method lies in the 
fact that it brings together in the school-room two 
greatly dissimilar classes of pupils. Very often- 
there is a greater dissimilarity between the .semi- 
mute and the congenital mute than between the 
semi-mute and the hearing child. A well-known 
English writer has said that a child learns more in 
the first seven years of its existence than in all the 
rest of its life. While this assertion may be some- 
what extravagant, it i3 certainly true that the de- 
velopment of a child's mind is proportionately much 
more rapid during the first four or five years of its 
life than afterwards, and the child who, during these 
years, has been in full possession of all his normal 
faculties, will have a better developed mind and 
possess greater mental powers than one who has 
been deaf from birth. This being true, different 
methods of instruction are required for different 
classes of pupils, if each is to make the fullest pos- 
sible progress. For congenital mutes, minute ex- 
planations and constant repetitions are necessary 
which to semi-mutes are generally superfluous and 
irksome ; the former are slow of comprehension, 
and have constantly to retrace their steps; the 
latter are quick, and anxious and able to press for- 
ward rapidly. Thus it happens, when the two are 
brought together in the same school-room to receive 
the same instruction, the semi-mute cannot make as 
rapid progress as he would if unimpeded by those 
who cannot keep step with him, while the true mute, 
in struggling to keep up with his more favored 
classmate, suffers not only from the disadvantage 
of unequal mental development, but the added one 
of imperfect training, the result of a defective sys- 
tem of classification and improper methods of in- 
struction. The semi-mute chafes at the delay, and 
gradually loses interest in his studies, while the 
congenital mute becomes discouraged, and finally 
sinks into a state of indifference, from which he is 
with difficulty aroused. 

As for the teacher, he is but human, and cannot 
serve two masters in the school-room any more 
effectually than he can out of it. His desire to 
make a good record as an instructor tempts him to 

Exhibit to Query 13,140. 


devote his time to the most progressive portion of 
his class, to the neglect of those most worthy of 
his best efforts. The mischief that results is not 
the fault of the teacher, but that of the system 
under which he is compelled to labor ; and we think 
we but state the truth when ^ve assert that, to the 
conscientious teacher, this method is the source of 
constant harassment and painful misgiving concern- 
ing the best welfare of his pupils. Professor Storrs, 
in an able article in the American Annals, says : 
"As a teacher, then, having regard only for the 
best work of my class and to the maximum of ad- 
vantage to the most needy, and I may add, the most 
interesting portion, I confess I am always unfeign- 
edly sorry to see any semi-mute, however bright, 
claiming any portion of my time and effort. I know 
that such a pupil does not need, in any special de- 
gree, that peculiar instruction which it is my privi- 
lege to attempt to give to such as do need it." 
There are, I believe, few teachers who do not echo 
these sentiments of Professor Storrs. They appre- 
ciate more fully than any one the unequal contest 
the two classes are waging, and yet, though their 
sympathies may go out to their struggling deaf- 
mutes, they find themselves compelled, by the ne- 
cessities of their position, to neglect the weaker for 
the stronger, the striplings in knowledge for their 
more robust competitors. 

The second form of the combined method, as de- 
fined by Professor Fay, is that wherein the general 
instruction of all the pupils is carried on by means 
of the manual method, with the special training in 
separate classes, of a part of them, usually the semi- 
mutes only, in articulation and lip-reading as an ac- 
complishment. This appears to be the most popu- 
lar method of instruction in America to-day. It is 
also, in my opinion, the most mischievous, for it is 
open to all the objections urged against the previous 
method, and several additional ones peculiar to it- 
self. Under it the special accomplishment of articu- 
lation and speech-reading is gained, if gained at all, 
at the expense of attainments far more important 
and practical to the pupils to whom it is generally 
confined, and the general progress of the rest of the 
class is very seriously interrupted. The training 
semi-mutes receive in this way very often fails to 
give them even a moderate dexterity in speech and 
speech-reading. A comparison of the attainments 
of pupils in schools where their whole training has 
been oral with those of similar standing whose train- 
ing has been of the intermittent character of the so- 
called combined method, conclusively demonstrates 
to me the superiority of the former in articulation 
and speech-reading. This statement may seem ex- 
travagant and unwarranted by facts, but, after a 
careful and somewhat extended examination of the 
results accomplished under pure oral training, and 
combined training, I am bound to admit that, with 
some exceptions, pupils trained under the former 
method excel in these two respects. 

And this, in the nature of things, cannot be other- 
wise. Instructors in oral schools are just as earnest, 
enthusiastic, painstaking, and capable as are the 
teachers of articulation in sign schools ; their pupils 
are naturally just as bright and receptive, and why 
should they not accomplish more in this direction, 
working four or more hours a day, than we, under 
the combined method, working a half, or perhaps 
one hour a day. To expect any other result ap- 
pears to me absurd. Besides, the constant means 
of communication in the former case being by the 
voice, the child comes to look upon it as the natural 
and only right means of communication; while in 
the combined school, the pupils being constantly 
surrounded by those who use signs, and receiving a 
great part of their own instruction through the me- 
dium of the same language, they soon acquire a dis- 
like for oral instruction, and practise their powers 
of oral communication to a very limited degree only. 
They look upon it as an imposition, an irksome task 

from which their schoolmates are excused, and very, 
often are found in no happy frame of mind when the 
hour for articulation work arrives. This, of course, 
makes the work of the teacher all the more severe ; 
he has to work against the grain, which is no pleas- 
ant addition to the other difficulties of his position. 
Indeed, considering all the disadvantages under 
which they labor, it is surprising that teachers of 
articulation working under this method accomplish 
as much as they do. 

While this oral work is going on in the articula- 
tion room, the teacher from whose class the pupils 
have been taken is indulging in thoughts not in the 
highest degree complimentary to an arrangement 
that daily breaks up his work, and is often perplexed 
beyond measure how best to fill in the time with so 
many of his pupils absent. He cannot go on with 
his regular course of instruction, and, consequently, 
a large portion of his class is obliged to suffer for 
the doubtful advantage afforded to a few of its mem- 

In short, it may be said of this fprm of instruc- 
tion that the pupils dislike it ; the teachers dislike 
it ; it fails very largely to accomplish what it at- 
tempts ; and it is a decided hindrance to the general 
progress of both manual and oral work. 

If the experience of others confirms the truth of 
this picture, it is certainly time that some remedy 
were provided. 

To me, the remedy is a very simple and effective 
one, and, I am glad to say, is embodied in the last 
two forms noted in Professor Fay's definition of the 
combined method. 

Under the first of these two forms, oral instruc- 
tion and manual instruction are given in the same 
institution, but in separate classes, the pupils being 
taught by one means or the other, as in the judg- 
ment of the Principal may appear best — manual in- 
struction being given to those who should be man- 
ually taught, and oral instruction to those who may 
most profitably be taught in that way. Under this 
arrangement, the evils attendant upon the two first 
mentioned forms largely, if not wholly, disappear, 
and each child enjoys that form of instruction best 
suited to his condition. 

In the institution which I have the honor to rep- 
resent before this convention, this form of separate 
oral instruction has been pursued in two of the 
classes in the main school, for three years, with 
gratifying success. In one of them, the youngest, 
the pupils may be regarded as being congenitally 
deaf ; for, if they were not born deaf, they lost their 
hearing so early in life that no trace of speech re- 
mained when they entered the school ; the other 
consists mostly of semi-mutes and two bright con- 
genitals. Although no attempt has been made to 
restrict these children in the use of signs out of the 
class-room, their progress in articulation, speech- 
reading, language, and arithmetic has been highly 
_ satisfactory. Indeed, I am inclined to the opinion 
(the future, however, may prove that in this I am 
wrong) that the use of signs on the grounds, in the 
play-rooms, and in the chapel has been an advantage 
to them in the way of mental development. The 
progress of these pupils is to me a matter of deep 
interest ; if it continues uninterruptedly to the end 
of the course, it seems to me the possibility of prose- 
cuting successful oral work in a manual school will 
be proven beyond a doubt. 

There is an objection (I am willing to concede a 
serious, though by no means a fatal, objection) to 
this form of instruction, arising from the fact that 
the pupils who are thus being instructed orally are 
constantly subjected to the seductive influences of 
signs. To many who favor the pure oral method, 
this would appear an insurmountable objection, but 
with the experience I have had upon the subject, I 
do not so regard it, and maintain that, if not equal 
to the last, it is at least vastly superior to the first 
two mentioned forms. Under it, the congenital mute 


Exhibit to Query 13,140. 

is not subjected to the discouragements that arise 
from constant competition with those who possess 
superior natural advantages, and the semi-mute is 
not retarded by those who are less quick of com- 
prehension than himself ; the teacher is not tempted 
to favor one pupil at the expense of the other, and 
is not subjected to daily interruptions of his work ; 
and the progress of the semi-mute in articulation 
and lip-reading is much more rapid and permanent. 

But the last form mentioned by Professor Fay 
affords, in my opinion, the best possible system for 
the instruction of the deaf. It provides instruction 
in separate schools, under the same general man- 
agement, for both classes ; those who can best be 
instructed manually being so instructed, and those 
who can best be instructed orally receiving oral in- 
struction. The advantages of a school so organized 
are worthy of serious consideration. The question 
whether the child should be instructed orally or 
manually presents no disturbing difficulties since, 
being left to the impartial and unprejudiced judg- 
ment of the head of the school, it is solved solely 
with a view to the best interests of the pupil, and 
without any reference whatever to the discordant 
claims of rival methods. 

It cannot be denied that, organized as most of 
our schools are at present, many children are com- 
pelled, owing to the selfish interests of the advo- 
cates of the methods under which they are being in- 
structed, to undergo a course of training wholly 
unsuited to their condition. On the one hand are 
the adherents of the pure oral method, who say: 
Teach all orally — any deaf child that can be taught 
at all, can be taught to speak. And on the other 
hand are those equally extreme in their views 
who maintain that all should be instructed by the 
manual method, with articulation and lip-reading 
thrown in as an accomplishment ; that to attempt 
more is a waste of time, and must result in great 
loss to the pupil in the way of mental development. 
And in attempting to prove the correctness of their 
theories, both classes of instructors do great injus- 
tice to a large proportion of the children confided 
to their care. 

Surely the time has come when all may yield 
somewhat in their extreme views, and unite upon a 
surer, truer, and more practical system of instruc- 
tion than the one they now advocate ; one which, 
while giving the greatest freedom as to method, 
will secure that kind of instruction best suited to 
each child. This system, which at the head of this 
paper has been called the True Combined System 
of Instruction, includes, under one management, 
manual instruction, pure and unadulterated, for all 
who may most profitably be so taught, and oral in- 
struction, pure and unadulterated, for all who can 
most effectually be educated by that method. It 
discards all attempts to provide accomplishments of 
any kind, and confines itself to what appears wisest, 
best, and most practicable for each individual case. 

For all practical purposes, and in order to secure 
immunity from error in the choice of methods, I 
would divide the deaf into three classes, the con- 
genially deaf, the semi-deaf, and the semi-mute. 
With the first I would include those born deaf, and 
those who lose their hearing from accidental causes 
very early in life, say within the age of three or 
four years. These, for the most part, I would in- 
struct manually. The semi-mute and the semi-deaf, 
and such of the congenitally deaf as appear particu- 

larly bright and quick to learn, I would instruct 
orally. A few months' or a year's trial will enable 
the Principal or Superintendent to decide whether 
a mistake has been made in any individual case, 
and if so, a change should be quickly effected. But 
having definitely decided on the method best 
adapted to each pupil, let that form be adhered to. 
If the child is to learn to speak, let speech be its 
means of communication, and not signs or writing 
or spelling ; if, on the other hand, speech is believed 
to be impracticable, dismiss all attempts to teach 
orally, and resort fully and heartily to manual 

After a trial for several years of the second 
method of instruction as defined by Professor Fay, 
the managers of the Pennsylvania institution, deem- 
ing the results obtained by it unsatisfactory as re- 
gards articulation and speech-reading, determined 
to make a trial of the pure oral method, under the 
same management but in a building separate from 
the main institution. Accordingly, an oral school 
was organized at a convenient distance from the 
parent school, and placed in charge of a principal 
teacher and several assistants. The school passed 
through the usual vicissitudes of all such experi- 
ments. It had its friends and its foes. The former 
stoutly maintained that all deaf children could be 
taught orally, while the latter contended that very 
few true mutes could be benefited by that method, 
and that results would never warrant the outlay of 
time and money necessary to attain them. Happily, 
neither side was able to carry out its extreme views, 
and with the lapse of time more moderate and con- 
servative counsels began to prevail ; for, while the 
results were not such as its most ardent friends had 
expected, still, enough had been done to fully war- 
rant the continuance of the school. It was, there- 
fore, reorganized and brought more into harmony 
with the parent institution, thereby securing, as is 
believed, the greater efficiency of both. It is be- 
lieved that a large percentage of our pupils, namely, 
the semi-mutes and the semi-deaf, and such of the 
congenitally deaf (few in number, probably) as are 
capable of receiving oral instruction, can and should 
be orally taught, and that all others, forming, to be 
sure, the majority of the pupils, should be taught 
by manual methods. 

The objection so often urged against separate 
oral instruction, that of the increased expense, has 
not proven with us at all formidable. It has been 
found, by actual experiment, that the capita cost of 
maintaining a separate oral school under the same 
management is but slightly greater than that of the 
parent school. But, however this may be, when 
the importance of speech to a deaf person is con- 
sidered, the slightly increased outlay incurred in 
providing it should have but little weight. When 
a deaf child is able to make itself understood by 
its voice, even though unable to read the lips, its 
affliction is very greatly diminished, and no one 
will deny that it is our duty to lighten the misfor- 
tune of deafness in every possible way. 

We consider our departure no longer within the 
domain of experiment; it has become an accom- 
plished fact. The two systems are working harmo- 
niously, side by side, each contributing not a little 
to the success of the other, and separate oral and 
manual instruction will, in future, be a promi- 
nent feature of the system pursued in the Pennsyl- 
vania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. 

Exhibit to Qubby 13,140. 


[This Exhibit consisted of the following paper by Mr. Gilbert O. Fay, published in the proceedings of the Eleventh 
•Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf, 188(i, pp. 159-163.] * 

In hearing education, teachers discuss topics be- 
fore their pupils or require them to read up the 
same in text-books, and later to reproduce the re- 
membered substance in language,- written or oral, 
generally the latter. Facility of speech, an exten- 
sive diction, exists at the outset. A deaf child is 
not best taught by the same verbal process, desti- 
tute as he is, or nearly so, of both words and 
thoughts. Such a task is the Egyptian one of 
making bricks without straw. The wiser teacher, 
with true philosophy, will become for the time a 
gesticulating mute himself. The mute's pantomime 
he does not shun or seek to extirpate. He is 
thankful for its existence, and patiently learns to 
use it, that thereby he may lead the pupil up to the 
added understanding and use of words in their visi- 
ble form — the dactylic, or finger spelled. He be- 
comes a child himself, even a mute, that thereby he 
may lead his pupils up to and into their kingdom 
of heaven — written and oral speech. The pupil, 
encouraged by the fellowship of his teacher, will 
work along this new Hue of language patiently, 
happily, hopefully, successfully Mot a single pupil 
will despair or fail. The script of the school-room 
and the type of the book will follow in close alliance. 
The fingers, in decimal system, will count and calcu- 
late ; and their equivalents, numerical and verbal, 
will be committed to memory. Within a year, the 
pupil will write many a story with his stock of 
words, already amounting to five or six hundred. 
The same process, kept up, will conduct him subse- 
quently through the various uses of the vocabulary 
of common life and the usual list of studies consti- 
tuting the course. Printed language or script, pre- 
viously written, will be the preferred medium of 
•communication to the pupil in the school-room. 
Extempore pictures, pantomime, differing in no 
philosophic sense from the pictures of books, will be 
freely furnished in explanation of the verbal text. 
When neither print nor prepared script is accessible, 
dactylic language will be employed. But out of the 
school-room, in the tide of daily life, in its flood of 
•events, great and small, in its business, its amuse- 
ments, its necessities, its exigencies, verbal speech 
will yield precedence to the more rapid and more 
expressive language of signs. Spontaneous feeling 
will maintain itself against all precepts of teachers 
and their severest repressive discipline, be it sweep- 
ing or petty. 

The child's first learning of language will be a 
process of simple imitation. Later, when ideas 
nave increased and the reasoning faculties have 
measurably awakened, sentence analysis and rules 
of composition will be profitably introduced. No 
teacher, however, should forget that a wide vocabu- 
lary, scant enough at the best, with simple syntax, 
very simple, is preferable to longer sentences of 
misused words. Much should be, may be, under- 
standing^ read that should not be at any time im- 
itated. The wide understanding and flowing facility 
of teachers, and the analogy of composition by 
hearing pupils, often mislead the teacher of the deaf 
into a pace and range of work entirely beyond the 
assimilating capacity of his pupils. The right use 
of qualifiers and idioms is slowly, very slowly, ac- 
quired. Verbal language is incessantly lapsing. 
Haste will break up a growing style, really correct, 
into a chaos of shreds and patches. 

For deaf children at this stage there is no ade- 
quate literature existing for the occupation of 
their leisure hours. So called children's books, 
though beautifully illustrated, are decidedly too 
difficult verbally for deaf-mutes. To some excep- 

tional pupils, already referred to, the editorials of 
the daily press and the fictions of Dickens are ac- 
ceptable. But the ordinary deaf-mute needs at first 
books and papers upon the commonest topics, 
written wholly in simple sentences of eight or ten 
words. Such a literature is indispensable as a sub- 
stitute and equivalent for the colloquial speech of 
the hearing. The want of it is the occasion of 
many idle, or worse than idle, hours among the 

Following the acquisition of verbal language in 
its simpler and clearly visible forms of finger spell- 
ing, writing, and print, the comprehensive teacher 
will also undertake, along the years, as a part of the 
general course, and with daily drill, to give to his 
pupils a mastery of the vocal equivalents of the 
words which they already understand and freely 
use. The task is beset with extraordinary difficul- 
ties, and should not be pushed at one time to the 
weariness or disgust of the pupil. Not hearing his 
own voice or the voice of others, and only conscious 
of certain muscular action approved by his teacher, 
his difficulties are prodigious. Gains trifling to the 
hearing should be thankfully recognized and en- 
couraged. Every deaf child can learu a few words. 
Many can learn to pronounce sentences fluently. 
With advancing education, pupils judiciously han- 
dled will have a growing ambition to add oral 
speech to written. Poor articulation, broken 
speech, is better than none. The ability to utter 
single words, to go no farther, adds substantial 
value to life. * To make room for oral speech, the 
range of study in general knowledge and written 
language, already limited, need not, should not, be 
narrowed. Vocal training should be introduced 
into, or rather added to, the course of existing 
education in fair proportion ; and it should occupy 
a part of the daily school time, presumably, of 
every pupil. A degree of proficiency in oral speech 
should be made a condition of graduation in the 
State institutions and in the National College. To 
secure this result, extension of time, if demanded, 
should be granted. 

The deaf, out of school hours, should be en- 
couraged to use dactylic and oral speech, not pass- 
ing beyond the point of -weariness. If they are 
likely to become proficient in oral speech, steady 
encouragement and its superior convenience will 
secure its permanent use. After they have acquired 
the correct use of dactylic speech, they should not 
be held permanently to its use. If unlikely to rise 
to the easy use of oral speech, they should not be 
checked in their inclination to think in pantomime. 
Its celerity, parallel in degree to oral speech, af- 
fords them, in thinking at least, a great relief from 
the tardy pace of finger spelling, be it ever so rapid 
and correct. 

Errors of proportion have divided the educators 
of the deaf into schools of opinion, not exactly hos- 
tile, but certainly separate and narrow. The 
schools of France, for a century, and subsequently 
the schools of the United States, while theoretically 
favorable to the teaching of articulation, have dem- 
onstrated only and mainly, through long practice, 
the importance and possibilities of pantomime and 
the uses of the manual alphabet, supplemented by 
written speech. They have applied these instru- 
ments with great skill and energy, and have pro- 
duced a remarkable body of silent scholars, easily 
superior in scholarship to anything that oralists 
have been able to produce. French and American 
schools, true to their traditions, have been back- 
ward, however, in taking up and applying, with 



Exhibit to Query 13,140. 

equal skill and energy, the teaching of oral speech. 
Might not a fraction of their silent written scholar- 
ships have been well exchanged for a degree of 
oral skill? Such seems to be their own present 
conviction. We are now witnessing the introduc- 
tion of the systematic teaching of articulation into 
all the prominent institutions of Europe and Amer- 
ica. And the pursuance of this policy has exhibited 
the fact that the development of the faculties and 
the acquisition of verbal speech by pantomime, by 
finger spelling, and by books, are an excellent pre- 
liminary training, the full peer of all rival expedi- 
ents, for teaching associated and subsequent oral 
speech itself. The pupil has something to say, and 
can be more easily taught to say it. The present 
need of our historic schools is to expand their scope 
still more widely, so as to include and attach to 
themselves all that is valuable in oral schools. If 
a longer school period shall be found necessary for 
the best results, it should not, will not, be withheld. 

Another school of opinion, represented by the 
schools of Germany, for a century, and by a few 
recently opened in the United States, ignores the 
pantomime of the deaf, and uses none. It omits 
the finger alphabet, and proposes to teach the deaf 
at the start, and with no intermediate step, oral 
speech itself, and by it all branches of desirable 
knowledge. Though opposed to the use of extem- 
pore sign pictures, it uses all printed pictures 
freely. It omits evidently and rejects such illus- 
trations as the pupil is likely to imitate and to in- 
corporate into signs of his own. It is communicat- 
ing instruction with great and increasing skill, and 
to a proportion of pupils steadily enlarging. The 
partially deaf and those who have heard in early 
years succeed from the start. An additional num- 
ber, some of them totally deaf from birth, succeed 
to a limited extent, practically useful. A large 
number do not acquire it sufficiently to be able to 
rely upon it, singularly evanescent, in after-life. 
At school they habitually invent and illicitly use a 
gesture-language for social relief, and feel more con- 
fidence in their pencil than in their voice. The time 
spent in oral teaching has crowded out some topics 
taught in the sign schools. The range of written 
scholarship, including English composition and the 
ability to read newspapers, is considerably lower. 
The deficiency is justified by those who are re- 
sponsible for it by the compensating value of the 
oral speech, acquired or attempted. 

These schools have yet to learn that, in omitting 
the use of pantomime and finger spelling, they ig- 
nore the uneducated mute's best friend. They 
take away a ladder, the only ladder known, by 
which all the deaf can easily rise. They require the 
mute, scorning all climbing steps and gradual ap- 
proaches, to clear at on6 bound the chasm that 
separates the deaf from the hearing. They force 
the recruit at once upon frowning breastworks. 

They apply a method derived from the functions of 
the hearing mind, and not at all from the essential, 
the universal functions of the mind of the deaf. 
Attempting the best things for all the deaf by a 
method heroic, they succeed with a small number,, 
less than half, and, holding no middle ground, sub- 
stantially, culpably fail with a considerable number. 
The brilliancy of the operation is clouded by its- 
frequently fatal issue. 

These schools, excellent, ambitious, and ably of- 
ficered, need, in behalf of many of their pupils, to 
incorporate into the early years of their course all 
that is valuable in the sign schools. The removal 
of intervening barriers will make the two jarring 
methods friends — astonished to remember that they 
ever differed. Pantomime and finger spelling, as 
jealously excluded now from oral schools as the 
" long keels of the Northmen," will prove a boon, a 
help, and not a hindrance to all their pupils. They 
will all easily rise, and rapidly, to the plane of 
written speech ; and those capable of taking the 
higher step, the last, the crowning oral one, will not 
be the less able for having a broader elementary 

To secure the best results in existing institutions, 
sign and oral, a degree of reorganization will be 
necessary, gradual or summary. It will involve in 
sign schools the adding of the teaching of articula- 
tion to the daily round of the duties of existing 
teachers, or the employment of additional articulation 
teachers. In oral schools it will involve the added 
use of pantomime and the manual alphabet by 
existing teachers, or the employment of additional 
teachers who can use them. New institutions need not 
be embarrassed by servile imitation of institutions 
time-honored simply. The line of progress is not nec- 
essarily a royal line, a dynasty. Errors may be trans- 
mitted, congenitally so. New institutions should 
have the enterprise and courage to select and to 
combine wisely, with at least one eye to the future. 
A great desideratum in the equipment of a school so 
enlarged is a collection of books, a library of them,, 
composed in shortest words and in syntax extremely 
simple, with the syllabification and all silent letters 
clearly indicated. 

It remains for our country, reverential and fear- 
less, inventive and aspiring, and abounding in re- 
sources of money and of brain, to organize, to per- 
fect, and to sustain, an eclectic, a combined, an 
American system of deaf-mute education — a system 
that shall be true to the nature of the deaf, and that r 
using all arts, shall conduct them gently, hopefully, 
happily, and within a reasonable time, up to the 
plane of oral speech. Some will talk in halting 
tones. Some will pause midway at written speech, 
and that in syntax poorly ordered. But all will, by 
graduated process, achieve results proportionate 
directly to their school time and to their receptive 

Exhibit to Query 13,149. 


[This Exhibit consisted of the following report of an address by President Gallaudet before the National Academy of 
Sciences upon " Some Recent Results of the Oral and Aural Teaching of the Deaf under the Combined System," published 
in the American Annals of the Deaf, July, 1884, Vol. XXIX, pp. 232-233.] 

The National Academy of Sciences — the most 
learned and distinguished body of scientific men in 
America — has recently manifested an unusual inter- 
est in deaf-mutes and their education. A report of 
their discussion at the New Haven meeting in No- 
vember last of Professor Bell's fears of " the Forma- 
tion of a Deaf Variety of the Human Race " was 
published in the January Annals ; and at their 
meeting in Washington last April President E. M. 
<3allaudet was invited to address the Academy on 
" Some Recent Results of the Oral and Aural Teach- 
ing of the Deaf under the Combined System." The 
following report of Dr. Gallaudet's address is taken 
from the Washington Post : 

Dr. Gallaudet began by referring to the fact that the in- 
struction of the deaf, even at its inception, about the year 
1760, in France, Germany, and Great Britain, was carried on 
under methods which differed greatly from each other. De 
1'Epee, in France, advocated and practised the manual 
method, which makes great use of the language of gestures 
and discards speech ; while Heinicke in Germany and Braid- 
wood in Scotland upheld the oral method , discarding signs, 
and giving speech the place of prominence. 

From those early days to the present time there has con- 
tinued a controversy between the oralists and the manualists 
as to the merits of the respective methods. 

In America, when the first school was established in 1817, 
-the manual method was adopted, and held its place in the 
schools of this country to the exclusion of the oral method 
for half a century. In 1867 oral schools were established 
in Massachusetts and in New York. Early in that year the 
Directors of the Institution for Deaf-mutes in Washington 
sent Dr. Gallaudet to Europe for the purpose of examining 
the methods pursued in the schools in that part of the world. 
After a careful study of some forty schools, during a period 
of six months, Dr. Gallaudet became convinced that a com- 
bined system which he found existing in a number of places 
conferred greater benefits on deaf-mutes than either the oral 
or the manual method used alone. 

On his return from Europe, Dr. Gallaudet strongly recom- 
mended the introduction of oral teaching into the existing 
-deaf-mute schools, and he had the satisfaction of knowing 
that this suggestion had been acted on favorably in all parts 
of the country, with very gratifying results. 

Dr. Gallaudet stated that those who advocated the pure 

oral method were urging very earnestly the abandonment of 
signs in the education of the deaf, and were claiming that 
under the combined method the oral instruction of the deaf 
could not be carried forward successfully. He said that he 
would presently introduce to the Academy one of the pupils of 
his Institution in which the combined system was followed, 
that the members might judge for themselves whether the 
claims of the pure oralists were well founded or not. But be- 
fore making this exhibition the Doctor informed the Academy 
that quite a new feature in the instruction of the deaf had 
lately been developed in the Nebraska Institution at Omaha, 
which was under the charge of Prof. J. A. Gillespie. It had 
been found that some fifteen per cent, of the children in this 
Institution possessed more or less hearing. By means of the 
audiphone and other appliances. Prof. Gillespie had suc- 
ceeded in developing the hearing power of these pupils in a 
most gratifying manner, and he urged teachers of the deaf 
in all parts of the world to labor in this direction, with the 
assurance that under this aural method a large percentage of 
, the so-called " deaf and dumb " might be taken entirely out 
of that class, and become in no respect different from per- 
sons whose hearing had been impaired. 

Dr. Gallaudet then called to the platform one of his pu- 
pils, a resident of Washington, John O'Rourke by name, a 
boy seventeen years of age, who was now in the sixth year 
of oral instruction. This boy, the speaker said, was entirely 
dumb when his oral teaching began, in the autumn of 1878. 
Dr. Gallaudet did not use a sign in communicating with his 
pupil, and resorted but once to the manual alphabet to cor- 
rect a mispronunciation on the part of the boy. Many ques- 
tions were asked and answered, the pupil reading from Dr. 
Gallaudet's lips with ease, and making his replies with a dis- 
tinctness that caused them to be understood by all present. 
Young O'Kourke read three stanzas from Longfellow's "Psalm 
of Life " in a manner that elicited hearty applause. 

At this point Dr. Gallaudet stated that Master O'Bourke 
might be taken as an illustration of the aural method, as well 
as of the oral, for within the past eighteen months it had 
been discovered that he possessed hearing in a sufficient de- 
gree to admit of cultivation. This limited power was being 
developed by his faithful teacher, Miss Mary Gordon, who 
was entitled to the credit of his progress in speech. 

The audience manifested the most lively satisfaction with 
all that Dr. Gallaudet had presented to the Academy, and 
one lady present, Mrs. Caroline H. Dall, of Georgetown, 
who had visited many oral schools, declared that Master 
O'Kourke's pronunciation was superior to any she had hith- 
erto heard from one who had once been dumb. 


Exhibit to Query 13,172. 



[This Exhibit consisted of the following paper by Mr. Job Williams, published in the proceedings of the Fifth National 
Conference of Principals and Superintendents of Institutions for Deaf -Mutes, 1884, pp. 182-194.] 

Throughout the United States of America, schools 
for the deaf, whatever may be the system of instruc- 
tion employed, are maintained wholly or in large 
part at the public expense, and are for the benefit 
of all who are too deaf to be taught in the public 
schools, but whose mental capacity would entitle 
them to an education therein, were they possessed 
of hearing. The brilliant minds among this unfor- 
tunate class may be successfully taught by either the 
oral or the manual method, or by the combined 
method. Where quick perception is added to rare, 
mental endowment, the oral system may be better, 
especially in the case of semi-mutes, the advantages 
outweighing the disadvantages. Where quick per- 
ception is wanting, though there may be rare men- 
tal capacity, there is little doubt that the combined 
system will produce a far higher average of results 
than would the oral system in the same case. In 
that large percentage of the deaf (perhaps a little 
larger among the deaf than among the hearing) who 
possess neither superior minds nor unusually quick 
perception, nearly all are willing to admit that the 
manual method is the only one by which satisfac- 
tory results may be attained. Unfortunately these 
distinctions in the condition of our pupils are not 
given sufficient consideration in all cases, and as a 
consequence, many a child is allowed to suffer in 
his mental development, and to an extent unknown 
and undreamed of in our public schools, and that 
would not be tolerated there ; pupils are shut out from 
school and condemned to grow up in ignorance, a 
burden to themselves, to their friends and to the 
community, on the ground that they are too weak 
in mind to receive instruction, when, in fact, the 
fault is not in the child's mental capacity, but in the 
system employed by his teachers, as applied to him. 

Within a few months one who occupies a high po- 
sition as an educator of the deaf and who is an en- 
thusiastic oralist, in comparing the pupils of the 
manual schools with those of the oral schools, has 
said that the manual schools (I quote directly) " are 
apt to gather up all that they can find, regardless of 
age or mental capacity." * * * " Their desire to 
have a large number of pupils is too great." " This 
desire often leads to the admission of pupils who 
are so deficient in mental ability that they more 
properly belong to an asylum for feeble-minded 
children." " Some of them are too old to make 
much progress in education." " Nowhere else are 
there so many unfit scholars to be found in schools 
for the deaf as here." " If you compare the appear- 
ance of the generality of articulating scholars with 
the dull, sullen, and uncouth looks of the pupils of 
sign schools, you will find the difference to be as 
great as it is between the members of a congrega- 
tion of a Fifth Avenue Church and the inmates of 
a penitentiary." These things were said not in 
heated oral discussion where there was little time 
to weigh the force of words, but in cold type with 
ample time for deliberation. 

The writer of this article once asked the author 
of the above quotations if he received all deaf-mutes 
who applied for admission to the school over which 
he presided. " Oh, no," said he, " we do not want 
idiots. We send them to the Institution," naming 
a manual school near by. Further conversation 
developed the fact that the term idiot, as used by 


him, included a large proportion of those possess- 
ing less than average ability. 

Another repudiator of the use of signs as ordina- 
rily used by the manual schools in the instruction 
of deaf mutes, speaking of the working of his sys- 
tem among the pupils of the school over which h& 
presided, said, in substance, not long since, if a 
pupil is not able to make good improvement with- 
out the aid of signs, as used under the combined 
method, I say to him, the progress you are making 
is not sufficient to compensate for the money which 
the State is spending for your education. You must 
go home. So the child is left to grow up in igno- 

Now, I wish to submit to this company of educa- 
tors of deaf-mutes, whether such treatment of deaf- 
mutes as is indicated by the foregoing quotation, is 
j ust to them. Is it Christian 1 Is it even humane T 
Do not those children, possessing degrees of men- 
tal ability between idiocy and mediocrity, have as 
strong a claim upon our sympathy and our aid, as 
do those of higher mental endowments ? Is not their 
need even greater than that of their more gifted 
brethren? we not placed in our positions to 
labor for the education of all deaf-mutes, rather 
than to secure brilliant results and gain credit for 
our methods, while aiding only the better part of 
that class? 

How would it work in our common schools to 
teach only those children having good mental en- 
dowment, and leave the slow and the dull to get on 
as best they could without the assistance of school 
instruction 1 

The above quoted charges, intended as a reproach 
to the manual schools, we receive as a high compli- 
ment to the philanthropy and Christian spirit of the 
managers of these schools. Such schools receive 
all whose mental capacity would entitle them to ad- 
mission to our common schools, if they possessed 
hearing. They exist for the elevation of deaf -mu tea 
as a class, not solely for the specially gifted among 
them. Such they gladly receive, and they claim to- 
do as good work in and for them as is done any- 
where. But if a child's mental condition does not 
give promise of brilliant success in his education,, 
they labor with and for it just as faithfully, as 
earnestly, as they do with those possessing a higher 
order of mind, and oftentimes with results which,, 
though less in amount, are equally marked. A dull 
class requires from its instructor as much skill, as 
much tact, as much versatility, more patience, more 
perseverance, more cheerful courage, than a bright 
one, and the teacher who can make even moderate 
progress with such a class, certainly deserves no 
less praise than the instructor who makes long 
strides in progress with a class possessing superior 
mental endowments. The actual improvement in 
the mental and moral condition of the child is often 
greater in the former case than in the latter. That 
this class of pupils do not call forth the applause 
of the unthinking part of the public we are aware, 
but to gain that is not the chief aim of our schools. 
It is the glory of the schools employing the com- 
bined method of instruction, that they are able to 
reach all grades of mental ability, and to give to 
each child as much instruction as his mental capac- 
ity will enable him to hold. They do not profess 

Exhibit to Queet 13,172. 


to furnish brain power, but the sign-language ena- 
bles them to gauge unerringly the mental capacity 
of a child, and to cultivate and use all the mind 
that it has, be it much or little. 

Let me cite a few facts. Some years ago a bright 
boy, who lost his hearing at four months of age, 
was found in the streets by an enthusiastic advocate 
of the oral system, who took him in charge and 
endeavored to teach him articulation and lip-reading. 
After a protracted effort in that direction with no 
apparent success, it was decided that the cause of 
the failure must be mental weakness, and the boy 
was accordingly sent to a school for feeble-minded 
children. After two years of experiment there it 
was discovered that the boy was not an idiot, but 
was simply deaf, and accordingly he was sent to a 
manual school for instruction. He had learned to 
write a few words and found his mental level in a 
class of three or four weeks' standing. He proved 
to be a boy of more than average ability, a fair lan- 
guage scholar, and in arithmetic one of the quickest 
and most accurate in his class. In all his studies 
he did well, and, after six years of instruction, left 
school that he might go to work. For ten years he 
has had steady employment ; from his earnings has 
provided a neat and comfortable home for his wife 
and little ones, and, as the fruit of his industry and 
economy, has quite a sum of money credited to his 
account in the savings bank. He is able to make 
his way anywhere and to do business with any intel- 
ligent person. He is an honest, industrious, thrifty, 
and respected citizen. 

Let me state another fact. A son of a Massachu- 
setts farmer lost his hearing at the age of five and a 
half years. Being a semi-mute, as was natural and 
right, his parents desired to have him keep up his 
articulation. They went a step further and deter- 
mined that all his instruction should be received 
through articulation. Accordingly the boy was 
placed in an oral school from which signs were rigidly 
excluded. He did not prove a promising subject 
for instruction in that way. His failure was attribu- 
ted to mental incapacity, and his father was urged 
to place him in the school for feeble-minded chil- 
dren at South Boston. Not satisfied as to the cor- 
rectness of the teacher's conclusion, his father took 
him to a manual school to see what could be done 
for him by the combined method of instruction. He 
proved to be a bright boy, remained nine years, and 
graduated with credit from the first class. He is 
an intelligent man, honest and industrious, with 
steady work and good wages. 

As an example of a different class of cases, let me 
instance the following : A bright boy lost his hear- 
ing through sickness at the age of five and a half 
years. He was sent to school and taught by the 
oral method for seven years. His progress in ar- 
ticulation and lip-reading was excellent. His par- 
ents decided to send him to a manual school, where 
it was found that his mental progress had been such 
only as to qualify him to enter a class of four years' 
standing, and in no respect was he in advance of the 
avei^age of the class. He continued with the class 
three years till their graduation and then entered 
the Deaf-Mute College at Washington. 

A bright girl, deaf in infancy, at the age of eigh- 
teen entered a manual school after having received 
instruction for eleven years by the oral method. 
Her lip-reading was remarkably good, and her ar- 
ticulation such that she could generally be under- 
stood by strangers, after they had become a little ac- 
customed to her voice. Her mental attainments 
were only such as to qualify her for admission to a 
class of six years' standing, and her scholarship was 
not above the average of the class. 

Though both of the last two pupils mentioned 
were considered by their oral teachers very success- 
ful in acquiring articulation and lip-reading, yet it 
cannot be claimed for either of them, as is sometimes 
done in such instances, that the progress, even in 


these branches, through the oral method was so 
much greater than it would have been through the 
combined method, as to compensate for the loss of 
time in mental development, for in neither case was 
the articulation or lip-reading much superior to that 
of pupils of equal native ability who had been in- 
structed under the combined method, in those special 
branches, much less time than they had been under 
instruction by the oral method. 

Let us apply another test to these two systems. 
Several years ago a boy, who became deaf at the age 
of two and a half years, and who had been under in- 
struction by the oral method for ten years, entered 
a manual school at the age of eighteen. He had 
been accustomed to describe pictures and to write 
imaginative stories suggested by them. To test his 
ability to express his ideas in the English language, 
a picture was placed before him and he was told to 
write the thoughts which were suggested to his 
mind by it. Next, the same picture was placed be- 
fore a toto-congenital mute, who had been two years 
under instruction by the manual method, and the 
same directions were given to him as to the first 
boy. Then the same picture and the same direc- 
tions were given to a toto-congenital mute, who had 
been under instruction by the manual method only 
four years. No suggestions whatever, except such 
as the child received from the picture itself, were 
given to any one of the pupils. All three of them 
were bright and, as far as we could judge, of about 
equal native ability. 

The three following compositions were the result 
of the experiment. They are given verbatim et lit- 
eratim and in the order of their mention. 

The picture, entitled " Temptation," may be found 
in the Junior Chatterbox for 1879. 

[By a pupil who had been under instruction ten 
years by the oral method.] 

A woman is poor, and a man gave Barrel apple to her, 
and she have no money. She was think and Will sell the 
apples. She sat in the street, and some people want eat 
apples & we gave money to her about it. Two Boys asked 
her How much cost a apple. She said 5 cents. He don't pay it, 
and we walked all around in the street and Woman stay is 
too long time because she is very tired and two boys saw 
her and he walked no noise thief and ran off. He are very 
Bad boy because we thief apples to poor woman. Two boy 
are not pretty He are Bad & thief — A apple on the table in 
side walk. Why we was thief apples. I think because we 
was very very hungry. Will he are very bad boy made hun- 
gry. I think A woman is cold day — Basket on the table or 
ground. Cloth & Box & umbrella on the Basket. I saw 
picture about Two Boy & woman & apples & Basket — Brick 
Look like is Bad Boy. 

[By a toto-congenital mute who had been taught 
two years by the manual method.] 

Last summer a woman sold many apples near a house. 
She sat on a chair. Soon she slept. Two bad boys walked. 
They saw the woman sleep. One of them walked quietly. 
He took one apple out of a box. Many apples rolled and 
fell on the ground. The noise awoke the woman. The 
woman stood up. She saw two bad boys. She took an 
umbrella out of a basket. She struck the boys with the um- 
brella. The umbrella broke. The boys were frightened 
and ran. The woman put the apples into the box. She 
kept the apples in the box. She did not sell the apples. 
She went home. 

[By a toto-congenital mute taught four years by 
the manual method.] 

An old lady had many apples. She looked poor and she 
wished to earn. She thought she would like to sell many 
apples. She carried some apples in a large basket. Then 
she put the apples on the table. There was the basket, an 
old umbrella and a bushel under the table. One day, while 
she was sleeping near the table, two boys saw the apples on 
the table. They saw the old lady sleeping near the table. 
One of the boys stole one of the apples. When the boys 
ran away, the old lady awoke and saw the boy eating the 
apple. She screamed and called them. The boys refused 
to come to her. The old lady told them that she would call 
the policeman if they would not come to her, but they re- 
fused to go. The old lady saw the policeman walking in the 
street. She called him and then the policeman came to her 


Exhibit to Query 13,172. 

and said to her, " What is the matter." Then the old lady 
told him that while she was sleeping, the boy stole one of 
her apples and ran away. The policeman was very angry 
with the boys. He looked for the boys who stole the apple 
from the lady. At last he found the boys near the tree. 
He caught them and led them to the lady. One of the boys, 
who did not steal the apple, told the policeman that the other 
boy stole the apple. The policeman caught the boy who 
stole the apple and put him in prison in a few days. In a 
few days the boy was very sorry. He told the policeman 
that he promised not to steal anything again. He led the 
boy to the lady. Then the boy told her about the things 
and asked her to forgive, him. She was very kind and for- 
gave him. The boy went to his home. He never stole any- 
thing again. He was happy. 

I have tried to state the above cases fairly and I 
believe that I have succeeded in doing so. Yet I 
am aware that there is some ground for the crit- 
icism that it is impossible to tell what varying con- 
ditions there may be in minds of apparently equal 
strength and force. Where the variation is all in 
one direction, however, the presumption is very 
strong that it arises from the same cause. In these 
cases we should attribute it without fear of success- 
ful contradiction to the method of instruction. 

But to avoid even the slightest suspicion of in- 
justice, let us take the same pupil under the two 
systems and see what results we find. 

A boy much above the average in strength and 
sharpness of mind was placed in an oral school 
where he remained for one and a half years. At 
the end of that time he was transferred to a manual 
school by his parents. When he entered the latter 
school what articulation he had acquired was well- 
nigh unintelligible. He had learned quite a vocab- 
ulary. What practical use he could make of it, the 
following letter, which is an exact copy of one writ- 
ten by him a few days after his arrival there, will 
show : 

Habtfobd, Oct. 12, 1882. 

Deab Motheb and A. — I am going the go. The wants are 
apples on box of school. Louis boy good all the time read. 
Mother her good in the a little to come for Mother dollars 
$2.00 wants to come Louis or call Fred and Jennie to be love 
sorry. The come little for The boots wants on come Miss W. 
on school the teacher that see you very Louis. He playing 
all the time good school likes. Mr. P. W. the keeps. Sleeps 
night eight morn on the hats wants home box come school 
reads all the time very White Good eats many fats Louis 
very good Boys house playing rain on the Wet Louis boots 
wants come on the cold snow Louis help Mr. S. the boys 
calls all the time Louis talks teachers Miss R. Boys cries 
all the time reproves Miss W. 

The following is the unaided production of the 
same boy after he had been under instruction by 
the combined method just six months. 

[A few days before it was written two travelling 
showmen with a bear visited the asylum yard and 
performed for the entertainment of the pupils.] 

Habtfobd, April 2, 1883. 
My Deab Motheb : I send the letter to mother. Tuesday 
me see a bear. Two men and bear come. Mr. W. leads 
two men and yellow bear. The boy walks and runs. The 
man throws a stick at the bear. The bear takes a stick. He 
climbs a tree. We stand near the bear. The bear is funny. 
We laugh at the bear. The bear is not cross. He is kind. 
The man shakes the bear. The bear kisses the man. Some 
boys stroke yellow bear. The bear scratches almost one boy, 
many girls looks at a bear. An other man holds a hat in the 
hand. Mr. W. and Mr. W. give some money into the hat. 
The man thanks them. Two men and bear go. We wave 
oar hats. Many boys run to school. The boys fall on the 
floor. Mr. W. laughs. I am well. What does mother do ? 

I think of my mother. I do not expect to letter from mother. 
Are you well ? What does James do ? I love mother. I 
write the long letter. What does Harry make in the shop ? 
I am proud. I study my lessons all the time. I try to be- 
come a good boy. I make round tables all the time. I am 
not tired. We play ball. I am happy. I said mother shows 
the letter to A. I said Harry writes the letter. He sends 
the letter to me. I do not expect Harry's letters. How many 
horses has Harry ? I see Harry's horses. What does Mr. P. 
do ? G. is sick. He stays at home. He is better. C. comes. 
I see G. Miss E.'s mother is very sick. She does not come 
to school. Mr. F. teaches Miss E.'s class. 

Take another similar illustration. The two let- 
ters following were written by the same pupil — one 
who had been under instruction by the oral method, 
for more than five years, before entering a manual 
school. The first was written a few days after her 
admission to the latter school, and the second after 
she had been under instruction by the combined 
method for six months. Both are unaided produc- 
tions and are copied verbatim et literatim. 

„ Habtfobd, Nov. 3, 1879. 

My Deab Motheb : I like sews somethings cloths. I have 
went to store. I like see the store. Hughs gives to me and 
reads paper. I will to thank you and the reads paper. I 
am glad to letter. A—. L — . gives to me and nuts. I like 
to A — . L — . My teachers names is Miss W. Please give to 
me write letter the Marys. I like to school. You have to 
very well. Last Sunday I reads the books. I am very tired. 
Place give to me and stamps sister Marys. Do you like to 
sohool. You have the works. You sews the somethings 
cloths. You are well. I read the books. I like to school. 
I see the store. I have to beautiful. I walked see the tree. 

Habtfobd, June 1, 1880. 
My Deab Motheb : I hope you are well and happy. I like 
to wash the dishes and work. I am well. Last Saturday I 
did not go to the city. I went in the yard. They sat on the 
seat and were quiet. In three weeks all the pupils shall go 
home and will be happy. Last Friday Miss W— . gave the 
dates and lemonade to the pupils in her class. The pupils 
ate date and drank lemonade and liked them. The pupils 
thanked Miss W — . She was kind. Sometime I shall go in 

Your loving daughter. 

Other cases where the improvement has been as 
marked as in those just quoted have come under my 
observation, but these are sufficient to illustrate my 
point. For the sake of brevity I have condensed 
into the following table facts which might easily be 
expanded into many pages. Not a case is given of 
which I have not personal knowledge, and so far as 
I know the table embraces every pupil who has en- 
tered the school, with which it is my fortune to be 
connected, after having been previously instructed 
by the oral method, excepting two — the one of 
whom died soon after entering school, and the other 
of whom had so much hearing and has attended the 
public school so much as to make it difficult to tell 
just where the credit of his attainments belonged. 

[Because of the difficulty of characterizing the 
mental development in any concise way, I have 
adopted the plan - in column four of the following 
table of gauging that development by the standing 
of the class which the pupil's attainments qualified 
him to enter ; e. g., the mark 2 in that column indi- 
cates that the pupil against whose name it stands 
was able to go into a class of two years' standing 
and work fairly with the class. The mark in the 
same column indicates that the pupil was qualified 
only to enter the youngest class in school.] 

Exhibit to Queby 13,172. 





£ a 


s ® 
S . 

ge when admitted 
to the American 

[ental development 
when admitted to 
American asylum. 




-» ea 
» bo 

aa . 

5 "2 a 


[ental capacity as 
Indicated by prog- 
ress und'r the com- 
bined method. 

■a •a 2 

a® a 

•a a a 


PS u 


2 8.J 
a, So 

—t -*a ^ 




















i year. 

2 yrs. at scl. 
for idiots. 

13 years. 




5J years. 

6 weeks. 

9 years. 



5i years. 
4 years. 

7 years. 

15 years. 

4 years. 



Very Good. 




9 years. 

15 years. 

5 years. 



Very Good. 




1 year. 

4 years. 

15 years. 

2 years. 

Very poor. 








13 years. 



3| years. 

6 years. 

12 years. 

1 year. 




Very poor. ' 

Very Poor. 


2 years. 

6£ years. 

15 years. 

2£ years. 



2 years. 

5£ years. 

15 years. 

1 year. 

Very poor. 





2£ years. 

10 years. 

17 years. 

4 years. 








2 years. 

10 years. 



1£ years. 

11 years. 

18 years. 

7 years. 


.Very good. 

Very Good. 





3 years. 

10 years. 

1£ years. 

Very Good. 



3£ years. 

11 years. 



5-6 years. 

£ year. 

10 years. 




8 years. 

9 years. 



1 year. 



1£ years. 

5 years. 

12 years. 

1 year. 




1£ years. 

15 years. 

1 year. 



Very good. 




£ year. 
2 years. 

8 years. 
18 years- 



5 years. 

2 years. 







2£ years. 

7 years. 

lS years. 

1 year. 



3 years. 
6 years. 

4 years. 

5 years. 

13 years. 
16 years. 





1 year. 



Very good. 





1 year. 

10 years. 



Very good. 




6£ years. 

4 years. 

15 years. 

4 years. 



Very good. 





2 years. 

1 6 years. 


3£ years. 

3 years. 

10 years. 

1 year. 



4-5-6 yrs. 

1 year. 

8 years. 

Very Poor. 


3 years. 

4£ years. 
1 year. 

11 years. 
8 years. 

1 year. 



Very good. 


3 years. 

2 years. 

9 years. 



Very good. 



It will be seen by a glance at the foregoing table 
that eight of those on the list are marked very good 
in mental capacity, as shown by their progress here. 
Of these eight, three entered the Deaf-Mute College 
at Washington after graduating at the American 
Asylum ; two graduated with credit ; two were 
obliged to leave school to go to work, and one is 
still in school, maintaining a very high standing in 

Of the eight marked a,s fair in capacity, I do not 
think there is one who will not be able to earn a 
comfortable support, and to communicate with com- 
parative ease with those about him. 

That even those marked poor in capacity are far 
from being idiots, the following specimens of their 
unaided productions will show. 

[The following translation from signs was written 
by the pupil marked No. 17, in the foregoing table, 
after nine years of instruction under the combined 

' ' One day a boy was playing near a bam yard. A calf 
was standing on the ground near a fence. He saw it. He 
pulled some grass and then gave it them to eat. The boy 
wanted to ride on the calf's back. He.coaxed it to the fence. 
He jumped over the fence, and jumped on the calf's back. 
The calf was frightened. Many stones lay on the ground. 
The calf threw the boy away. The large stone struck his 
head. The blood ran over his face. He began to cry and 
scream. The lady heard him. She came to the fence. His 
mother heard the boy. She came to the fence. The lady 
and his mother carried him into the house. The boy was 
very weak and sick. They lay him on his bed. His mother 
washed his face. She was very kind to him. She gave him 
nice milk to drink. The boy was sorry that he ever bad been 
to ride on the calf's back." 

[The following is a translation from signs written 
by the pupil marked No. 29, in the foregoing table, 
after eight years of instruction under the combined 

" Some years ago A merchant lived in England, he owned 
a dog A gentleman called him, the dog opened his mouth. 
The gentleman gave one penny, he ran to Baker. The mer- 
chant gave cake to him, he run to the gentleman, he put his 
hand into his pocket, he took it out of her pocket, he ran to 

the Bakery, the merchant looked at the bad penny, his head 
shook, he ran to the gentleman's house, he scratched the 
door, the gentleman heard the dog a noise, he called the ser- 
vant, he opened the door, he showed the bad penny to him, 
the dog put the penny on the doorsteps, he ran away, he ran 
to the Bakery, the gentleman found it, he went to the Ba- 
kery, he put it into the drawer, he saw the dog, the mer- 
chant and the gentleman laughed at him, he went to the 
Bakery, he bought two candy, he thought that he ate two 

We do not claim success in all cases equal to 
that shown in the foregoing quotations and letters. 
It would be folly for us to do so, since the secret of 
supplying mental capacity, where nature has left a 
deficiency, has not yet been revealed to us. We do 
claim, however, that these cases, together with the 
facts given in the table following them, show very 
plainly three things, viz : First, That the mental de- 
velopment even of pupils who succeed in acquiring 
fair articulation and lip-reading is much more rapid 
in many, yes, nearly all, cases under the combined 
method than under the oral method. Secondly, 
That many, who utterly fail of progress under the 
oral method, may reach a fair degree of mental de- 
velopment through the manual method. Thirdly, 
It is very conclusively shown by the above quoted 
productions of pupils who have been tried under 
both systems of instruction, that the sign-language 
is not responsible for the inaccuracies in the language 
of deaf-mutes and the peculiarities of language, com- 
monly styled deaf-mutisms. They are to be attrib- 
uted only to a want of familiarity with the proper 
forms of written language. Moreover, we assert 
(would there was some process by which we could 
give samples of articulation on paper !) that the 
pupils who have come from oral schools to us, even 
the cases of marked success in articulation and lip- 
reading, show no better results in those branches 
than articulating pupils who have received all their 
instruction by the combined method for the same 
length of time. Not for a moment would we argue 
that there should be no schools of pure oralism. 
That is an excellent method for some of the semi- 
deaf and of the semi-mute. The success in some 


Exhibit to Query 13,172. 

such cases is sufficient to more than compensate for 
any loss there may be in general mental develop- 
ment. In some such cases I hare urged parents to 
send their children to a school using the pure oral 

But we believe that many pupils who plod along 
in the oral schools with very indifferent success to 
the end of the course, -dwarf ed in mind and dis- 
heartened, by a different method might have their 
mental power stimulated and strengthened, and 
might as a consequence gain better results than 
they now do, even in the special branches of articu- 
lation and lip-reading. We believe that a majority 
of the pupils taught by the pure oral method would 
be better fitted to go forth to the duties of life, 
would come much nearer than they now do to being 
" restored to society," had they been taught by the 
combined method. Surely the difficulties in the 
path of every deaf-mute are very great, and any 
degree of success, even when every possible advan- 
tage is afforded him, deserves praise, but to take 
away his most natural, most efficient aid and then 
attribute to the stupidity of the child the failure 
which fairly may be laid at the door of the method 
employed in his instruction, is certainly very unjust, 
and seems to those who understand his mental dif- 
culties and peculiarities heartless, if not inhuman. 

Idiots there are among the deaf as well as among 
the hearing, but we have yet to learn that the pro- 
portion is any greater in the one case than in the 

Not all with perfect hearing can learn music. 
Not all good language scholars can become profi- 
cient in mathematics. Not all can succeed as me- 
chanics. Genius does not always run to art. Why 
should it be thought strange that not all the 
deaf can succeed in acquiring articulation and lip- 
reading ? 

Let the work be prosecuted with a large-hearted, 
Christian philanthropy, remembering that the sole 
motive in it should be the advancement of our 
pupils — advancement both mental and moral — the 
advancement of the weak not less than that of the 
strong. The teacher's ease, or pride in brilliant 
results, or impatience at the plodding pace of the 
very dull, should never shut out from .school a single 
deaf-mute, who can there be helped to a higher 
plane of life. Let us be broad enough to own 
that our method of instruction may not be the 
best method for all the deaf, and when it be- 
comes apparent that any pupil will probably receive, 
more development by another method, let us be 
generous enough to give it the advantage of that 

Exhibit to Query 13,241. 


[From Harper's Magazine, copyright 1884, by Harper and Brothers. Reprinted by permission.] 

[This Exhibit consisted of the following article by Pres. Gallaudet, published in Harper's Magazine for March, 1884, 
reprinted in the American Annals of the Deaf tor July, 1884, Vol. XXIX, pp. 200-222.] 

Edgar Allan Poe, in his essay on The Noetic 
Principle, defines the " poetry of words " as " the 
rhythmical creation of beauty." 

" Contenting myself," he says, " with the cer- 
tainty that music, in its various modes of metre, 
rhythm, and rhyme, is of so vast a moment in poetry 
as never to be wisely rejected — is so vitally impor- 
tant an adjunct that he is simply silly who declines 
its assistance — I will not now pause to maintain its 
absolute essentiality." 

If this dictum of so great a master of the music 
of verse is accepted, the declaration that poetry may 
be fully appreciated, and even produced, by those 
bereft of the sense through which alone music can 
be enjoyed, presents an apparent absurdity. 

It is no easy matter, if indeed it be at all possi- 
ble, for us who possess the sense of hearing to place 
ourselves in the position of those who dwell for a 
lifetime in a world of silence. The constitution of 
their minds lacks absolutely an element that forms 
a part of ours, from the baby days when the 
mother's lullaby soothes to sleep, to the hour when 
(whether the creation of the imagination, or some- 
thing more real, who can tell ?) the song of angels 
thrills the soul of the dying saint. 

It is not likely that the interesting questions in 
mental science as to what is the difference between 
the normal mind and that in which the sense of 
hearing has not existed will ever be fully answered. 
But it is evidently impossible that the congenitally 
deaf should have any proper idea of sound, and 
hence of music. 

Hardly more likely does it seem that those whose 
hearing was destroyed in early childhood can retain 
the memory of sound to a degree sufficient to en- 
able them to become musical composers, even in the 
poetic sense. And yet the interesting fact appears 
that the deaf, in no inconsiderable numbers, have 
essayed to mount on the wing of poetic expression ; 
to what extent and with what success it is the pur- 
pose of this paper to show. 

In the first number of the American Annals of 
the Deaf and Dumb, the editor introduces a poem 
by a deaf-mute, with the following note : 

How shall he who has not now and never has had the sense 
of hearing, who is totally without what the musicians call an 
' ' ear," succeed in preserving all the niceties of accent, measure 
and rhythm ? We should almost as soon expect a man born 
blind to become a landscape painter as one born deaf to 
produce poetry of even tolerable merit. Accordingly such cases 
are very rare. Indeed, among the thousands of educated deaf 
and dnmb persons in this country and in Europe, we know of 
but one example of the kind. We refer to John Oarlin, a 
former pupil of the Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf 
and Dumb, and now a miniature painter of decided merit in 
New York city. At our request Mr. Garlin has communicated 
the following article for publication in our Annals. It is 
published precisely as it came from his own hand. We have 
not felt ourselves at liberty to add, subtract, or change the 
position of a single word.* 

Mr. Carlin is still living in New York, enjoying a 
vigorous old age, and recently, in compliance with 
a request from the writer for information as to the 
manner in which he came to write verses, furnished 
the following statement : 

I was born deaf, and have since been so. I was graduated 
from the Pennsylvania Institution in 1825, at the tender age 
of twelve years, after four years' schooling. I was never 
taught articulation. I am still profoundly dumb ; and, being 
totally deaf, I have no idea of vocal sounds. 

During my yonth and early manhood I took delight in 
reading Shakespeare, Milton, and Pope. While studying art 

•As the poem referred to, "The Mute's Lament," was 
published in full in the Annals, vol. i, p. 15, it is omitted 
here. — Ed. Annals. 

under Delaroche, at Paris, I illustrated in outlines "Paradise 
Lost," and also Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, a poem in prose. 
Notwithstanding my ignorance of the rules of versification, 
I scribbled verses. Ever desirous to be a good poet, I made 
strenuous endeavors to discover where and how to master 
the art of poetry, and in every endeavor I failed. My pen 
danced on, the poetic flow of my imagination having found 
an outlet in discordant verses, which demonstrated that I was 
still ignorant of the secret of poesy. 

All hearing persons to whom I showed my attempts at poetry 
were unable to explain fully where the difficulty lay, and, by 
reason of my congenital deafness, and the subsequent inability 
of my ear to catch and con long and short syllables intonated 
in strictly poetic feet, either iambic or trochaic, dactylic or 
anapaestic, I was convinced that I could never be what I so 
ardently desired — a correct writer of verses. But when I 
made a professional sojourn at Springfield, Massachusetts, 
in the winter of 1842, I had the good fortune to become ac- 
quainted with the Rev. Dr. W. B. O. Peabody, and took the first 
opportunity to lay my case before him, with one of my efforts 
for his critical perusal. He soon saw my deficiency in the 
knowledge of regular rhythm, and, after careful reflection, he 
definitely opened my eyes to the right way to my goal, by 
directing me to study Walker's Pronouncing Dictionary, and 
also his Rhyming Dictionary, a book which contains all the 
fundamental principles of poetry. Besides he gave me hints 
about poetizing correctly. 



Long and patiently I plodded in the way pointed out to me 
by that good man, treasuring in my sensorium as many ac- 
cented syllables as I could, that they might be easily called 
to mind at any time without my having to consult the 
dictionaries. The advice which Bryant, the poet, personally 
gave me — "Read the best English poets" — has proved a 
valuable guide in poetical composition. 

During the last thirty years Mr. Carlin has pro- 
duced a considerable number of short poems, many 
of which have been copied widely in the newspapers. 
One, entitled " A Scene on Long Island," in blank 
verse, is to be found in The American Reader, 
published by A. Dekalb Farr, and is remarkable for 
a certain majesty of movement, which shows how 
fully Mr. Carlin has overcome the most serious dif- 
ficulties growing out of his deafness. 

The following, as a specimen of our author's com- 
position in rhyme, is, however, all we have room for 
in this article : 


Awake, ye sparklers, bright and gay, 

Still nestling in your lair ! 
The twilight glories fade away, 

And gloom pervades the air. 
Come, then, ye merry elves of light, 
Illuminate the tranquil night, 
While low and high ye blithely fly, 
Flitting meteors 'neath the sky. 


Exhibit to Query 13,241. 

The twinkling stare appear anon, 

Shine feebly from on high ; 
The humble glow-worms hasten on 

To bear them company. 
O come, ye lustrous sylphs of night, 
Display with them your fairy light, 
While low and high ye blithely fly, 
Flitting meteors 'neath the sky. 

The trees are hushed, the streamlet's still 

The frogs their vigils keep ; 
The nodding grain on yonder hill 

And flowers together sleep. 
O rise, ye sprightly flies of fire, 
This slumberiDg scene with life inspire, 
While low and high ye blithely fly, 
Flitting meteors 'neath the sky. 

The old folks doze, the maidens fair 

Their wooing swains delight ; 
Then rise ye from your wat'ry lair 

To cheer the solemn night. 
O sparklers, in the hour of dreams 
Fling merrily your witching gleams, 
While low and high ye blithely fly, 
Flitting meteors 'neath the sky. 

In recognition of his high attainments as a 
■writer, and of his earnest devotion to letters, Mr. 
Carlin was invited to deliver an address at the pub- 
lic inauguration of the National Deaf-Mute College 
at Washington, D. C, in June, 1864, and was on that 
occasion made a Master of Arts, this being the first 
instance of the conferring of a degree by the new 
College; and he still enjoys the distinction of being 
the only deaf-mute poet the world has ever known. 

Of all other deaf poets — that is to say, those who 
lost their hearing in childhood, and hence have re- 
tained some memory of sound — the wonder is only 
less in degree, as compared with the congenitally 
deaf, that they can, after long years of complete 
silence, give utterance to their thoughts arid feel- 
ings in strict accord oftentimes with the rules of 
" metre, rhyme, and rhythm." And the marvel is 
the greater when it is known, as is the case with 
several persons presently to be alluded to, that hear- 
ing was lost long before the mind had received any 
appreciable poetic influence from without. 

The peculiar mental condition of those to whom 
sound is only a memory is well expressed in verse 
by two of their own number. 

The following is from the pen of Professor Amos 
G. Draper, of the Faculty of the College at Washing- 
ton, who became totally deaf at the age of ten years : 

They are like one who shuts his eyes to dream 

Of some bright vista in his fading past ; 

And suddenly the faces that were lost 
In long forgetfulness before him seem — 
Th' uplifted brow, the love-lit eyes whose beam 

Could ever o'er his soul a radiance cast, 

Numberless charms that long ago have askt 
The homage of his fresh young life's esteem ; 

For sometimes, from the silence that they bear, 
Well up the tones that erst formed half their joys — 

A strain of music floats to the dull ear, 
Or low, melodious murmur of a voice, 

Till all the chords of harmony vibrant are 
With consciousness of deeply slumb'ring pow'rs. 

Miss Angie A. Fuller,* who lost hearing at the 
age of thirteen, and was educated in part at the 
Illinois Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, has 
written a number of very creditable short poems, 
from one of which, " The Semi-mute's Soliloquy," 
the following extract will be of interest in connec- 
tion with Mr. Draper's sonnet : 

No sound ! no sound .' an alien though at home, 
An exile even in my native land ; 

A prisoner too, for though at will I roam, 
Yet chained and manacled I oft must stand 
Unmoved, though sounds vibrate on every hand. 

No sound '. no sound ! yet often I have heard, 
Echoing through dear memory's sacred hall, 

The buzz of bees, the rare song of a bird, 
The melody of rain-drops as they fall, 
The wind's wild notes, or Sabbath bells' sweet call. 

• Miss Fuller, who resides in Savanna, Illinois, is now 
nearly blind ; but, in spite of her disabilities, she has recently 
published a volume of poems, entitled The Venture. 

No outward sound ! yet often I perceive 

Kind angel voices speaking to my soul 
Sweetly consoling charges to believe 

That this life is a part, and not the whole 

Of being — its beginning, not its goal. 

No sound ! except the echoes of the past, 
Seeming at times, in tones now loud, now low, 
The voices of a congregation vast 

Praising the God from whom all blessings flow, 

Until my heart with rapture is aglow. 

In our own country several are found besides 
those already referred to who may justly claim to be 
recognized as deaf poets. Most prominent among 
these is James Nack, who died in New York, Sep- 
tember, 1879, at the age of seventy-one. 


Mr. Nack lost his hearing in his ninth year, en- 
tered the New York Institution for the Deaf and 
Dumb as a pupil within a few months after this event, 
and remained there four years. His first publication 
was a volume of poems, written between his four- 
teenth and seventeenth years, entitled The legend 
of the Hocks, and Other Poems. 

One of the leading reviews of that day speaks of 
the volume in terms of most enthusiastic praise, call- 
ing the author an intellectual wonder, and ranking 
his writings above the productions of Chatterton, and 
those of Byron in his earlier years. 

In 1839 Mr. Nack published a volume entitled 
Earl Rupert, and Other Poems; in 1850, The Im- 
mortal, a Dramatic Romance; and in 1859, The 
Romance of the Ring, The Spirit of Vengeance, 
and Other Poems. 

The following may be taken as a specimen of his 
style in his miscellaneous pieces : 


Though to thee this little tress 
Brings no thought of loveliness, 
Nothing that my eye can meet * 
For that eye hath charm as sweet ; 
Nor such witchery is spread 
By the locks on beauty's head, 
Whether their dishevelled dance 
Floats in wild luxuriance, 
Or their gently waving rings 
Fall in sunny glisterings, 
Or in their ambrosial wreath 
Violets and roses breathe, 
Or, in regal band controlled, 
They entwine with gems and gold — 
Whether their light clusters through 
Peeps the laughing eye of blue, 
Or the shade of raven wing 
O'er the eye of night they fling. 
Know, if thou wouldst have me tell 
Whence it hath derived a spell 
Far all other charms above — 
'Twas her first fond gift of love. 

Exhibit to Query 13,241. 


By a singular coincidence, during the year that 
brought deafness to James Nack, the same afflic- 
tion befell another boy of equal age, who was 
destined to attain prominence as a writer and as 
a poet. 

John K. Burnet, born in northern New Jersey in 
1808, made totally deaf by disease in 1817, pub- 
lished in 1835, 2'ales of the Deaf and Dumb, with 
Miscellaneous Poems. This book attracted great 
attention, and was successful both as a pecuniary 
venture and in a literary point of view. During the 
thirty years following its publication Mr. Burnet 
was a frequent contributor to the periodical press of 
the country, articles from his pen appearing in the 
Biblical Repository, the North American Review, 
the American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb, and 
other journals. 

In 1871 Mr. Burnet received the degree of Mas- 
ter of Arts from the Deaf-Mute College at Washing- 
ton, which, in the language of one of the reports of 
the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, 
" honored itself in honoring this the most eminent 
of the semi-mute scholars in this country." 

We have room in this paper for only a few lines 
of Mr. Burnet's, which we take from a piece entitled 


December 26, 1776. 

Great Washington rides through the silent ranks, 
Speaks cheering -words, then turns to hide a tear ; 

That so much hope is left he renders thanks, 
And breathes for victory a silent prayer. 

He gives the word — Embark ! A few frail boats 
Are freighted with the last hope of the free ; 

And with these fragile vessels sinks or floats 
Thy cause forever, weeping Liberty ! 

Row on ! brave sons of Freedom ! prove your might ; 

Push through the crashing and dashing surge ! 
A mighty stake lies on your strength this night ; 

With oar and pole and axe your course still urge ! 

Though chill the sleet your limbs — oh, do not quail ! 

Though last your toil for hours— oh, do not tire ! 
A holy cause rests on you , if you fail, 
- The world's last hope of Freedom must expire. 

Howard Glyndon is a name not infrequently ap- 
pearing in our current magazines and literary news- 
papers as the author of pieces in prose and verse. 
Probably few persons are aware that this writer is 
a lady who has been totally deaf from early child- 
hood. Her primary education was conducted in the 
Missouri Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, from 
which she graduated in 1857. She took leave of 
her teachers and classmates in a poetical address of 
considerable literary merit, which was published in 

literary pursuits, and many who were in Washington 
twenty years ago will remember her as an attrac- 
tive lady with a voice hardly rising above a whisper ; 
fragile and very youthful in appearance, as she was 
then in years, but exhibiting an earnestness and in- 
dependence which gave promise of the success that 
has since crowned her labors. 

Miss Bed den (now Mrs. Edward W. Searing) was 
an acceptable correspondent of many daily and 
weekly journals while she-remained in Washington, 
and in 1865 she published, under the patronage of 
some of our most distinguished public men, a vol- 
ume of poems entitled Idyls of Battle, which added 
to her growing reputation. In 1873 she published 
another volume, Sounds from Secret Chambers, in 
which may be found much that is beautiful in 
thought and expression. From this volume we 
take the following, entitled : 


What if I saved from trampling feet 

The drooping plumes of a wounded bird, 
And tended its hurt with a gentle hand 
Till its new life stirred ? 

What if it nestled against my cheek, 

And tamed its shyness upon my breast, 
Until I believed that it loved me more 
Than its old-time nest ? 

And if some day, when I prize it most, 

It should leave my hand with a sudden spring, 
And cleave the blue of the summer sky 
With a freshened wing. 

And never pause at my pleading call, 

Never come back to my desolate breast. 
And forget I had saved its life, and forget 
I had loved it best — 

Should I never open my arms again 

To any helpless or suffering thing ? 
Never bind up the bruised heart, 
Nor the broken wing ? 

Better a thousand times to bear 

A blow in place of an earned caress, 
Than to turn aside into selfish ways, 
Or to pity less. 

Better the long-abiding pain 

Of a wronged love in its sufferance meek 
Than the hardened heart and the bitter tongue 

And the sullen cheek. 

Mrs. Mary Toles Peet is the author of a consider- 
able number of short pieces in verse, all of which 
are graceful and finished in style and full of poetic 
feeling. Mrs. Peet lost her hearing at the age of 
thirteen, and was for two years a pupil in the New 
York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, of him 
whose wife she afterward became, Dr. Isaac Lewis 
Peet, the well-known principal of that Institution. 


"howabd GLYNDON. " 

the American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb, to- 
gether with an article in prose under her real name, 
Laura C. Bedden. Her ambition was to succeed in 


In the year 1853, not long after the death of 
the founder of deaf-mute education in America, 
Eev. Dr. Thomas H. Gallaudet, LL. D., the deaf and 


Exhibit to Query 13,241. 

dumb of the whole country contributed of their 
means for the erection of a monument to their great 
benefactor on the grounds of the parent school, at 
Hartford, Connecticut. 

The occasion of the unveiling of this monument 
was commemorated by Mrs. Peet in lines the fol- 
lowing quotation from which will illustrate her 
modes of thought and expression : 


No flaunting banners wave, 

No pomp surrounds his grave, 
No arch triumphal blazons forth his name ; 

More fitting pile we raise 

For one whose brightest days 
Were given to deeds worth a far nobler fame. 

Plain monumental stone, 
Whereon the summer's sun 
And autumn moonbeams silently will die, 
O'er thee soft gales of spring 
May float with unseen wing, 
And mingle here with the mute pilgrim's sigh. 

And while we linger round 

This consecrated grouud, 
Perchance, as starbeams mirrored in the wave, 

His spirit, lingering near, 

May be reflected here 
In silent hearts, inspiring works of love. 

Among the students of the College for Deaf- 
Mutes at Washington, compositions in verse are 
not uncommon, and there are those of their 
number who will no doubt be hereafter known as 

Besides Professor Draper, already alluded to, one 
other graduate of the College deserves mention as 
a writer of verse. William L. Bird, of Connecticut, 
graduated from the College in 1870. He served for 
a short time as a clerk in the Census Office, taught 
for a year the most advanced class in the Virginia 
Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, at Staunton, 
whence he removed to Hartford, Connecticut, to 
take a position as instructor in the school where his 
early education was conducted. 


Mr. Bird lost his hearing in the seventh year of 
his age, after having attended school as a hearing 
child for a single session. In his tenth year he 
became a pupil of the Institution at Hartford, 
where he remained until he entered College in 

Giving the brightest promise of a successful and 
useful life as a teacher and as a writer, he was sud- 
denly stricken with a mortal disease, and died in 
1879 at his post in Hartford. 

Mr. Bird published no verses during his lifetime, 
but among his papers ample evidence was found 
that he was a true poet, and he undoubtedly would 
have been known as such had his life been spared. 
In proof of which the following lines will, we believe, 
be accepted : 


I stand alone 

On wave-washed stone 
To fathom thine immensity. 

With merry glanoe 

Thy wide expanse 
Smiles, oh ! so brightly upon me. 
Art thou my friend, blue, sparkling sea ? 

With your cool breeze 

My brow you ease, 
And brush the pain and care away. 

Your waves, the while, 

With sunny smile, 
Around my feet in snowy spray 
Of fleecy lightness dance and play. 

So light of heart, 

So void of art, 
Your waves' low laugh is mocking me. 

I hear their voice — 

" Come play, rejoice ; 
Come, be as happy as are we : 
Why should you not thus happy be ?" 

Alas ! I know 

That, deep below, 
And tangled up in sea-weeds, lies, 

Where light dares not 

Disturb the spot, 
He who alone can cheer my eyes. 
O sea ! why wear this sparkling guise ? 

Last, but not least, we may include in our cata- 
logue one who is not only deaf, but dumb and blind. 
For it is a fact that Laura Bridgman, the mere men- 
tion of whose name touches a chord of sympathy in 
every heart, has lately, in the evening ot her days, 
given expression to her reflections in a form that is 
highly poetic, even though her lines do not follow 
the modern models of versification. 


Several incidents of recent occurrence in the life 
of this remarkable woman, most influential among 
which, no doubt, was the death, six years ago, of her 
benefactor and devoted friend, Dr. Howe, have 
seemed to give a poetic turn to the current of her 
thought and feeling. And the following can hardly 
be read without emotion when one remembers the 
deep shadows under which the writer has walked 
and dwelt all the days of her earthly pilgrimage : 


Heaven is holy home. 

Holy home is from everlasting to everlasting. 

Holy home is summerly. 

I pass thiS dark home toward a light home. 

Earthly home shall perish, 

But holy home shall endure forever. 

Earthly home is wintery. 

Hard it is for us to appreciate the radiance of holy home because 

of the blindness of our minds. 
How glorious holy home is, and still more than a beam of sun t 
By the finger of God my eyes and my ears shall be opened ; 
The string of my tongue shall be loosed. 
With sweeter joys in heaven I shall hear and speak and see. 

Exhibit to Queey 13,241. 


What glorious rapture in holy home for me to hear the angels 

sing and perform upon instruments ! 
Also that I can behold the beauty of heavenly home. 
Jesus Christ has gone to prepare a place for those who love 

and believe Him. 
My zealous hope is that sinners might turn themselves from 

the power of darkness unto light divine. 
When I die, God will make me happy, 
la heaven music is sweeter than honey, and finer than a 


The earliest specimen of poetry by the deaf is to 
be found in a rare and interesting work entitled Vox 
Oeulis Subjecta, by Francis Green, of Boston, pub- 
lished anonymously in London in 1783. The lines 
are given as the composition of a pupil of Braid- 
wood, the first teacher of deaf-mutes in Great Brit- 
ain, and appeared in 1768. They are as follows : 


When Britain's Roseius on the stage appears, 
Who charms all eyes, and (/ am told ) all ears, 
With ease the various passions I can trace, 
Clearly reflected from that wondrous face, 
Whilst true conception with just action joined 
Strongly impress each image on my mind. 
What need of sounds, when plainly I descry 
Th' expressive features and the speaking eye ? — 
That eye whose.bright and penetrating ray 
Doth Shakespeare's meaning to my soul convey. 
Best commentator on great Shakespeare's text ! 
When Oarrick acts no passage seems perplext. 

The most voluminous writer of poetry among the 
deaf is Mrs. Tonna, better known under her assumed 
name of Charlotte Elizabeth. She became totally 
deaf at nine years of age, no sound of any kind ever 
reaching her afterward. She was, however, acutely 
sensitive to vibrations, whether conveyed through 
the air or through a solid medium. In this way 
the vibrations from an organ or from the sounding- 
board of a piano gave her great pleasure, and from 
her recollection of Handel's music she took great 
delight in it. 

On one occasion, when she had reached the age 
of twenty-three, a new country-danoe was played. 
The tune was called the " Recovery," the rhythm of 
which is very peculiar. She was as usual at her 
station, with her hands on the sounding-board, when 
some friends expressed a doubt as to the possibility 
of her forming any idea of the tune. She sat down 
at once, and wrote a song which followed the tune 
in all its changes with absolute precision. 

There is a piece of Mrs. Tonna's beginning 

"No generous toil declining," 

which is quite difficult to read as poetry until the 
reader is made familiar with an old song entitled 
"A rose-tree in full bearing," to which it is perfectly 

Besides many short poems and her numerous 
well-known prose works, Mrs. Tonna published four 
separate volumes of poetry — The Convent Bell; 
Isram, a Mexican Tale; Osric, a Missionary 
Tale ; and The Garden, with Other Poems* 

Among the prose writers of the world who be- 
came deaf in childhood, the place of highest rank 
will without question be accorded to John Kitto, the 
famous Bible commentator. 

His published poetical compositions cover only 
some three hundred lines, in his interesting work on 
the Lost Senses. By way of apology for their in- 
troduction, Kitto earnestly disclaims any desire to 
be recognized as a poet, but his specimens plainly 
indicate that he might have gained distinction as a 
writer of verse had he devoted himself to poetry 
with half the interest he showed in his prose works. 

The reasons for his indisposition to attempt the 
writing of poetry appear in the conviction he ex- 
presses that deafness is an insuperable obstacle to 
rhythmical composition. 

" For want of oral guidance in hearing others 
speak," he says, "it is next to impossible that the 

* The incidents relating to Mrs. Tonna are taken from a 
sketch of her life by her husband, in the North British 


deaf man should have that knowledge of quantity 
and rhythm which is so essential to harmonious 
voice. He would also be unsafe in his rhymes, for 
rhyme lies in assonances which can often only be 
determined by the ear, and verse will require words 
which one who became deaf in early life will 
never have heard. It is therefore not wonderful 
that the deaf-mutes and those who have become 
deaf in childhood never do attempt to contend 
with difficulties which seem absolutely insuperable. 
I am utterly ignorant of any verse — for I will not 
venture to call my own such — written by any 
any persons under such circumstances. With those 
who become deaf after adult age has been attained 
the case may be different, although I am not aware 
of any poetry which even such persons have given 
to the world." 

Kitto follows this expression of what seems 
rather a surprising ignorance by an interesting de- 
scription of the way in which he learned to read 
poetry, and how he was led at length in early life 
to attempt to express his thoughts in rhyme and 
metre. All along insisting on the impossibility of 
his being able to compose in correct verse, he con- 
cludes by saying : "And as there is no other way of 
settling the question which has been mooted, I will 
venture to introduce a few specimens. If the reader 
can discover the formal errors, the bad rhymes, 
the halting, hopping, stumping feet, which I am 
unable to detect, then my proposition is demon- 
strated ; but if he can make no such discoveries, it 
must be admitted with some qualification. But I 
must earnestly stipulate that the reader shall bear 
in mind the single experimental purpose for which 
these lines are introduced." 

That Kitto's poetry is better than his reasoning 
will be proved by the following : 


Were all the beams that ever shone 
From all the stars of day and night 

Collected in one single cone, 
Unutterably bright, 
I'd give them for one glance of heaven 
Which might but hint of sin forgiven. 

Conld all the voices and glad sounds 

Which have not fallen on my sense 
Be rendered up in one hour's bounds, 
A gift immense, 

I'd for one whisper to my heart 

Give all the joy this might impart. 

If the sweet scents of every flower — 
Each one of which cheers more than wine — 

One plant could from its petals pour, 
And that were mine, 

' I would give up that glorious prize 
For one faint breath from paradise. 

A volume of poems, entitled Day-Dreams of the 
Deaf, was published in London in 1858, from the 
pen of William Henry Simpson, who had been some 
years previously a teacher in the school for deaf- 
mutes on the Old Kent Boad, London. Simpson 
lost his hearing in boyhood, after having learned to 
read, and continued the education in the school 
where he was afterwards an instructor. In an in- 
troductory note to his poems he quotes Kitto's ref- 
erence to the " insuperable difficulties " that stand 
in the way of the writing of poetry by the deaf, " at 
the risk," as he adds, " of laying himself open to the 
charge of vanity, for the purpose of introducing some 
of my own compositions to public notice, being un- 
willing that the statement (proceeding as it does 
from one whose dictum, right or wrong, must of 
necessity carry weight with it, from the similarity of 
his own case to that on which he writes) should pass 
unnoticed, while I had it in my power to correct an 
erroneous impression." 

Some of Simpson's verses are little more than 
"machine poetry," while others show skill in rhyth- 
mical writing as well as feeling. 

The following song is perhaps a fair specimen of his 
most pleasing efforts : 


Exhibit to Query 13,241. 

Old Time is a good old man, 

What though his step be not gay, 
He trudges along as well as he can, 
He trudges along still with equal span, 
With his scythe in his hand, 
And his time-piece of sand, 
And his single lock glossy and gray. 

Full many the joys he bears, 

Full many the griefs he brings, 
Yet thinketh he naught of the load of cares 
Contained in his wallet, nor wots who shares, 
But indifferent smiles 
On the world and its wiles, 
On beggar's lot or the fate of kings. 

The years in their flight he measures, 

As round his dial they climb : 
But we, alas! scarce value hu treasures, 
We thinking now of the season's pleasures, 
When our cares we lay by, 
When we banish each sigh 
For the song and the dance at Christmas time. 

Hail, then, December, though old and hoary ! 

Fresh fagots pile on the bright fire, 
And listen awhile to the comical story. 
The year's departure, let's crown with glory. 
By the embers' bright glow, 
Well defy frost and snow, 
While the whistling wind joins in the choir. 

One piece of Simpson's, which was widely quoted 
in the newspapers at the time of its publication, will 
be of interest to Americans even at this day. It is 
entitled " Lines on Beading the Narrative of Fred- 
erick Douglass, an Escaped American Slave." We 
will not occupy space for the entire poem, but will 
transcribe a few stanzas that will serve as a speci- 
men of the whole : 

He told his wrongs in simple strain, 

Unmix' d with aught of guile : 
Of sad days spent in toil and pain, 

Uncheer'd by kindly smile ; 
How long he bore the galling chain, 

The badge of bondage vile. 

And all for what ? His skin was dark, 

His soul was therefore base .' 
By nature, feature, born the slave 

Of all the white man's race. 
Thus argued pious heads and grave, 

With eloquence and grace. . . . 

Back to thy native land and tell 

How England loves the slave, 
How million hearts responsive swell 

Against each servile knave 
Who still his fellow-man would sell, 

Yet heavenly favors crave. 

Lift up, lift up thy voice and win 

Many to freedom's cause ; 
Best not till all thy kith and kin 

Live under equal laws ; 
Blot from thy land one cursed sin, 

And win the world's applause ! 

Passing from England to the continent of Europe, 
we find several deaf poets, most prominent among 
whom is Pelissier, totally deaf from early childhood, 
and for many years a teacher of deaf-mutes in the 
famous Institution founded by the Abbe de l'Epee 
in Paris more than a century ago. Mr. Pelissier 
published a volume of poems in 1844, which gained 
high praises from the critics. 

Edouard Morel, the editor of the Annates de 
I' Education des Sourds-muets et des Aveugles, re- 
views the book at length, and pronounces Pelissier 
a true poet, commending most warmly the marvel- 
lous skill with which he expresses his thoughts in 
accordance with the rules of rhyme, rhythm, and 
metre. Morel quotes a specimen of Pelissier's verse 
with the following warm introduction : 

" Lisez cette strophe de Pelissier dans son invo- 
cation a sa muse, et dites moi si Ton pourrait croire 
que c'fest la lyre d'un poete prive de l'ou'ie et de la 
parole, qui a produit ce chant melodieux." 

Viens egayer ma vie, 
Muse, je t'y convie. 
Couronne moi de fleurs ! 
Pour comble de faveurs, 

Ah ! daigue me sourire. 
Soit qu'en proie au de'lire 
Je chante dans mes vers 
Le roi de l'univers, 
Soit qu'ivre d'harmonie, 
Aux hauteurs du genie, 
Faible et novice, encor 
J'ose prendre l'essor. 

In 1855 a small volume of poems was published 
at Toulouse, written by a former pupil of the school 
for deaf-mutes in that city, by the name of S. B. 
Chatelain. Professor Leon Va'isse, for many years 
director of the Institution for Deaf- Mutes at Paris, 
pronounces Chatelain's work " very good verse," of 
equal value, probably, with Pelissier's. 

Chatelain was the son of a captain in the French 
army ; he suffered from delicate health all his life, 
and became entirely blind before his death, which 
occurred a few years since. 

Urbain Borie, born at Sarlat, France, in 1846, and 
who lost his hearing at five years of age, has written 
some twenty poems, a number of which have been 
published. Borie was for eight years a teacher in 
the Paris Institution for Deaf-Mutes, and now fills 
a position as clerk in a lawyer's office. 

The following piece, published in 1878, received 
honorable mention at a meeting of poets presided 
over by Victor Hugo : 


Un enfant gisait sur la terre, 

Presque nu, sans abri, sans pain ; 
Le malheureux cherchait 6a mere ; 

Sa voix l'appelait, mais en vain. 
Dans le pays de sa naissance, 

Nul n'eut pitie - de sa douleur. 
Le pauvre enfant venait en France 

Pour mettre fin a son malhenr. 

" Qui m'aidera dans ma misere ?" 

Disait-il : " je me sens mourir." 
Une voix re'pond : " Moi, ta mere ; 

Mon bonheur est de secourir ; 
Viens done au foyer domestique ; 

En vrai fils tu seras traite ; 
Enfant, je suis la Bepublique, 

Je suis la pais, la liberte. 

" Enfant, ecoute-moi: mon chanme, 

Je l'ouvre a tous les malheureux, 
Des pauvres je suis le royaume, 

Le travail seul y fait les preux ; 
Et sans l'orgueil du diademe 

Mon droit toujours est respecte ; 
Car partout on recherche, on aime 

La bienfaisante liberte'. 

" Enfant, aux lieux qui font vu naitre 

Tu diras en parlant de moi : 
' J'ai vu re'gner l'ordre sans maitre, 

Le peuple respecter le loi ; 
Au travail sans cesse il s'applique ; 

Sa devise est fraternity ; 
J'ai vu la sainte Bepublique, 

Le bonheur par la, liberte' !' " 

The only deaf writer of verse in Europe remain- 
ing to be noticed is Frithiof Carlbom, born in Eskil- 
stuna, Sweden, in 1835. 

Carlbom lost his hearing at about five years of age ; 
was received as a pupil by the Boyal Institution for 
the Deaf and Dumb at Stockholm in 1844, remain- 
ing there four years. After four years of private in- 
struction at home he entered the Boyal Academy of 
Fine Arts in 1852, where he remained until 1863. 
Here he received six silver medals, and in the com- 
petition for the royal prize medal in 1863 he gained 
the accessit. The same year he was made principal 
of the " Silent School " — a day school for deaf-mutes 
in Stockholm, of which he still has charge. 

Mr. C. Kierkegaard-Ekbohrn, the principal of the 
Boyal Institution for Deaf-Mutes at Bollnas, to whom 
we are indebted for the facts concerning Carlbom, 
says of him : " He has not written more than a small 
' collection of lyrical poems, and some songs and 
verses for different occasions. His versification is 
fine, and he is here, especially by the deaf and by us 
teachers, regarded as a genius. As an instructor of 

Exhibit to Query 13,241. 


our deaf brethren he is admirable ; one of the most 
skilful teachers in our country." 

For the benefit of students of Scandinavian litera- 
ture we will insert a specimen of Carlbom's verse : 


Bort jordiska minnen, 

Bort sorger och smarta ! 

Jag afkastar bogan, som trycker min sjal. 

Bort tocken, forsvinnen ! 

Kom lugn till mitt hjerta ! 

Kom engel, befria materiens tral. 

Lat fri ifr&n gruset 

Min tanke sig svinga, 

Som forr till den Allgodes saliga verld ! 

^ck lat mig at ljuset, 
At karleken bringa 
Min fiamtande lampa f Orr'n veken ar tard. 


At hvem blef val gifvet 

Sitt ode rRnsnka ? 

En lag blott vi vete : " TiU jord ater blif !" 

Din skank utaf lif vet 

Tag gerna tillbaka ! 

Blott doden mig for till sollare lif. 

A young Swede, who became deaf in his twelfth 
year, was graduated from the Minnesota School for 
Deaf-Mutes, and is now a student in the College at 
Washington, has made the following literal transla- 
tion of Carlbom's verses : 


Away all earthly thoughts, 

Away sorrows and pain ! 

I throw off the fetters that depress my soul. 

Away shadows, vanish ! 

Come quiet to my heart ! 

Come, angel, liberate the slave of matter. 

Let, free from earth, my thought, 

Itself heavenward swing, 

To the blest world of the ever-kind Father. 

Oh ! let me toward light, 

Let me toward love bring 

My nickering lamp, ere the wick is consumed. 

Indeed, to whom was granted 

His own fate to descry ? 

But one law we know : ' ' Return again to dust ! " 

Thy gift of life to me ! 

Fain take back unto thee ! 

Death alone can bring me to a happier land. 

— Translated by Olof Hanson. 

It would be foreign to the purpose of this article 
to attempt to criticise from a literary point of view 
the verses we have quoted, or to give any estimate 
of their value respectively as literary productions. 
"We leave this to the reader, contenting ourselves 
with having made what we believe to be a unique 
collection of writings by representatives of a pecu- 
liar and most interesting class of persons — a class 
hitherto commanding little attention in the world of 
letters, but destined, we feel assured, with the in- 
creasing advantages afforded it, to contribute in the 
future its due share to the aggregate of intellectual 


Since the publication of the foregoing article in 
Harper's Magazine my attention has been called 
to the writings of several deaf authors, which I 
should have deemed worthy of notice had I known 
of them before reading the final proof of the article. 

Miss Alice C. Jennings, of Boston, Mass., who 
became totally deaf in childhood, has published a 
volume of poems entitled, "Heart Echoes." Her 
verse shows no little skill in its construction, and 
often gives evidence of true poetic feeling. A speci- 
men of Miss Jennings' poetry may be found on page 
248 of vol. xxvi of the Annals. 

Miss Eachel J. Fhilbrick, of Savannah, Georgia, 
who lost her hearing at the age of twelve, and who 
has struggled under the burden of invalidism for, 
now, thirty years, has written several very creditable 
romances in prose, and has occasionally expressed 
herself in verse. Lines on the death of Garfield 
were printed in Cambridge, Mass., in September, 
1881, and in Desire Wentworth, a Romance of 
Provincial Times, a song occurs, which, though 
somewhat faulty in metre, gives expression to po- 
etic ideas. 

Morrison Heady, of Louisville, Ky., has pub- 
lished volumes of prose and poetry under condi- 
tions peculiarly trying. He has been for many 
years not only deaf, but blind. He writes with a 
machine which punctures his paper with sharp 
points, making characters which he can read with 
the ends of his fingers, and from which a copyist 
prepares his manuscript for the press. 

Mrs. M. A. M. Cramer, of Milwaukee, Wis., who 
lost her hearing at five years of age, has written a 
number of short poems. She has been a contributor 
to the Chicago Tribune over the signature " Morna," 
to the New York Citizen as "Barbara O'Brien," and 
to Good Cheer, the Galaxy, and other periodicals 
in her own name. 

A number of fugitive pieces by deaf persons have 
recently come under my notice, the writing of 
which would hardly entitle their authors to be 
named as deaf poets. Some of them, however, are 
of such merit as to suggest that the roll of honor 
in this department of literature will be added to in 
the near future. 

An interesting incident in the experience of Pe- 
lissier, the French deaf-mute poet, has been brought 
to light by Professor Gordon, of the College Fac- 
ulty, which is related in V Impartial for July, 1858. 
Pelissier wrote a poem of great merit entitled, Ma 
Mere ! Mon Dieu ! which was read with effect by 
Mile. Favart, the actress, at an entainment given in 
Paris in aid of la Socik'e Centrale d'Gducation et 
d 'assistance pour les sourds-muets en France. Some 
months later a speaking man, Decombes by name, 
published at Lyons a poem under the same name 
as that by Pelissier, and so similar in its form and 
expression, that a suit was brought against De- 
combes' publisher for plagiarism. The Buit was 
successful and the plagiarist punished in accordance 
with the provisions of the penal code. 

Exhibit to Queby 13,273. 

[This Exhibit consisted of the following illustrated paper by Professor Gordon, printed in diminutive quarto, pp. 40, 
abridged from the historical sketch of Manual Spelling'in his " Practical Hints to Parents of Young Deaf Children Con- 
cerning Preliminary Home-Training," pp. 32-40 :] 


" I'll speak to thee in Bllence."— Cymb., Act V, Sc. i. 

Kendall Gbeen, March 9, 1886. 

The author's thanks are hereby expressed to Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, Dr. Edward Allen Fay, Mr. J. A. Boland. and 
to all the kind friends who have " lent a helping hand " in the preparation of this little work. 


To promote the convenient and useful art of fin- 
ger-spelling is the object of this little monograph. 

The origin of this ancient art is not known, but 
evidences of its existence have been traced, from 
the Assyrian antiquities down to the fifteenth cen- 
tury, upon monuments of art. The venerable Bede, 
" the wise Saxon," described finger-spelling more 
than a thousand years ago, and three manual alpha- 
bets are figured in an edition of his works printed in 
1532. These are based upon the finger-signs for 
numbers which were used by the ancient Egyptians, 
Greeks, and Bonians. 

Monks, under rigid vows of silence, and other 
scholars who had special reasons to prize secret and 
silent modes of communication, beyond doubt in- 
vented and used many forms of manual alphabets as 
well as systems of signs or gestures. Rossellius, a 
Florentine monk, figured no less than three one- 
hand alphabets in 1579. Two-hand alphabets, or 
mixed alphabets of various forms, were in use 
among school-boys in Spain, France, and England 
centuries ago, and in some form such alphabets 
probably survive with the " child-lore " and the 
games inherited in turn by successive generations 
of children throughout Christendom. 

The Spanish one-hand alphabet, which oontains 
certain forms found in the Florentine's plates of 
1579, was the first finger-alphabet adopted in teach- 
ing spoken and written language to the deaf. The 
happy thought of this adaptation is attributed to 
the pious and learned monk, Pedro Ponce de Leon 
(1520-1584). This alphabet, beautifully engraved, 
appears in the famous work of Juan Pablo Bonet, 
secretary to the Constable of Castile, which was 
published a century after the birth of Ponce or 
in 1620. This work, borrowed largely from Ponce 
no doubt, is the oldest practical treatise extant upon 
the art of teaching the deaf-born to speak and to 
use the common language of life. 

The Spanish alphabet, somewhat modified, was 
introduced into France by the brilliant Pereire and 
his gifted deaf pupil, Saboureux de Fontenay, 
where it speedily supplanted the clumsy alphabets 
employed in teaching the deaf by the Abbe de l'Epee 
and the Abbe Deschamps. The same alphabet, with 
a few slight changes, was adopted by Dr. T. H. 
Gallaudet, in the school for deaf children opened 
at Hartford, in 1817, and it is now known in 
almost every hamlet in the land. 

Finger-spelling is to the deaf a borrowed art. It 
was originated neither by them nor by their teach- 
ers, nor is it essential to their education, yet its 
value can hardly be over-estimated. To the deaf- 
born the mastery of common language is an ex- 
tremely difficult task. Intelligible speech in certain 
cases is wellnigh impossible. Writing is slow, 

wearisome, lifeless, and often impracticable. Fin- 
ger-spelling, which may have the rapidity of delib- 
erate speech, and three times that of writing, per- 
mits dramatic action, emphasis, accuracy, and easy 
repetition, thus keeping the senses alert and vividly 
impressing the forms of words and sentences upon 
the mind. It compels practice in our language and 
encourages and stimulates the child in his efforts to 
master it. " Pupils who consent to spell out their 
thoughts soon leave behind them those who will be 
persuaded to do nothing but gesticulate." \Ed. Am. 
Annals, 1853.] 

It was a favorite idea of Dr. T. H. Gallaudet that 
finger-spelling might be advantageously used in 
teaching hearing children to spell well, a theory which 
has been fully confirmed by experience. 

It is, however, chiefly with a view to promoting 
the welfare of thousands of more or less educated 
deaf persons, who depend largely upon finger-spelled 
English in their social and business relations, that 
this little hand-book has been prepared, and this sim- 
ple art commended, gentle reader, to you. Taken 
up as a pastime, often, it has proved useful in busi- 
ness and in the home. It is of special value in the 
sick-room, and it has been used by many, after the 
voice was gone, to convey messages of importance 
and last words of love, trust, and peace. 

This alphabet can be learned in an hour. It has 
been learned by close application in ten minutes. 
The plates represent, for the first time, typical posi- 
tions of the fingers, hand and forearm, from an ab- 
solutely uniform point of view, in front of the per- 
son spelling, or as seen in a large mirror by the user 
himself. They were engraved by the " Joyce proc- 
ess " from dra wings by Mr. Harry Cunningham, 
based upon photographs subjected to competent crit- 
icism. The forms were determined from a study of 
scores of mediaeval and modern plates as well as cur- 
rent Usage. The arm should be held in an easy po- 
sition near the body. It is not necessary to move 
it, but a slight leverage at the elbow is permissible, 
provided the hand delivers the letters steadily within 
an imaginary immovable ring of, say, ten inches in 
diameter. The fingers need not be so closely held 
nor firmly flexed as shown, but all sprawling should 
be avoided. Certain letters as c, d, i,j, k, I, m, n, o, q, 
u, v, w, and a, resemble written or printed forms. 
J is simply traced in the air with the little finger, 
and z in like manner with the index finger. H, u, 
and n differ only in the position of the hand, and t 
is formed as in " taking off baby's nose." These ten 
words contain all the letters : " adz, fan, map, cow, 
box, jar, sky, hat, quill, glove." Practise upon each 
of these for five minutes. It will do you no harm to 
have a verse of Scripture or some favorite quotation 
" at your fingers' ends " every morning of your life. 


Exhibit to Queby 13,273. 




Exhibit to Quebt 13,273. 


Exhibit to Queby 13,273. 



Exhibit to Qubby 13,274. 


[This Exhibit consisted of the following paper by James Denison, M.A., Principal of the Kendall School for the Deaf, 
Washington, D. C, from the American Annals of the Deaf, October, 1886, Vol. XXXI, pp 233-239 :] 

In some English magazine I remember reading a 
few years ago a story to the following effect : 

A burglar, intent upon robbery, had obtained en- 
trance to a bed-room, where the lady of the house, 
awakened from sleep by the noise of his movements, 
was intimidated from giving an alarm by his fierce 
threats of violence. Hearing footsteps approaching, 
the robber concealed himself behind the bed, first 
cautioning the occupant that the least whisper of 
his presence would be at the risk of her life. The 
husband entered, unsuspicious of the fact that, from 
his place of concealment, the robber, with levelled 
pistol and finger on trigger, was breathlessly watch- 
ing and listening. 

The situation was full of peril — more easily im- 
agined than described. The least allusion to the 
truth might have been instant death to the beloved 
husband, and probably to the wife also. 

Now it happened that in their younger days they 
had learned the manual alphabet of the deaf, and 
had frequently since, as occasion suggested, com- 
municated with each other by it. Unseen by the 
robber, the lady gave her husband on her fingers an 
inkling of the state of matters. He took in the situ- 
ation at a glance — literally at a glance — and making 
a misleading remark about something he had for- 
gotten to bring, he was out of the room and in a 
moment back again with fire-arms and assistance, 
and the burglar was captured, and robbery and pos- 
sible murder prevented : and this by the manual 
alphabet, an accomplishment easily and carelessly 
learned years before, with no thought of its future 
employment in such an emergency. 

This case, extreme as it may seem, only illustrates 
the general rule that in daily life circumstances are 
constantly arising in which there is an imperative 
necessity of saying something directly to the person 
most interested in a way not to attract too greatly 
the undesired attention of others, and of saying it 
quickly, perspicaciously, felicitously, without using 
the voice. 

Writing is a medium of communication that an- 
swers these purposes at certain moments, and on 
certain occasions. It is undoubtedly an indispen- 
sable medium where distance, exactitude of state- 
ment, future reference, extent of matter, are to be 
considered. There is no need of enlarging upon 
this phase of its usefulness ; it is universally ac- 

There are indisputably times and places in which 
the finger alphabet fulfils, as writing cannot do it, 
the conditions of expression where vocal utterance 
is either not desirable or not possible ; where to use 
pen or pencil would be either an inconvenience, a 
waste of time, or a sheer impossibility. 

How often at social gatherings — I am not allud- 
ing to the deaf in this connection — do we not see 
individuals, separated from each other by the crowd 
or the length of the room, vainly striving, by be- 
wildering contortions of the countenance or noddings 
of the head, to convey a piece of information upon 
which may hinge the ease and pleasure of the even- 
ing. Kepeatedly it must have occurred to the looker- 
on, as he noticed the mortification or blank disap- 
pointment depicted upon their faces at the futility 
of their attempts to reach a common understanding, 
that the finger-alphabet would have furnished them 
with a means of perfectly accomplishing that object 
without attracting undesirable attention by uncouth 
gestures, or obliging them to make themselves con- 
spicuous by raising the voice beyond the proper 

Probably no one has ever left a promiscuous gath- 
ering of any kind without recalling an unfortunate 
moment, made so by a lapse of memory, or some 
misinformation as to the name, identity, or profes- 
sion of a person interviewed, where the use of the 
finger-alphabet on the part of a kindly-disposed third 
person would have saved him from an awkward 

In concerts, where music has charms to still every 
other sound ; in the church, where any other voice 
than that from pulpit or choir would shock the con- 
gregation from centre to circumference ; in the the- 
atre, where the owner of a voice in orchestra or 
gallery finds himself the focus of a hundred lorg- 
nettes ; and again, amid the noise and rattle of the 
machine shop, factory, or railroad, how often arises 
an imperious necessity of making a communication 
to another. How handy — old Saxon word this, but 
pat to the purpose, is it not? — How handy at such 
times and places would come the manual alphabet, 
achieving the end sought for completely, and with- 
out the least friction or disturbance ! 

Outside of the confessedly deaf, how many per- 
sons there are who, resenting with warmth the im- 
putation of not being the possessors of a perfect 
auditory apparatus, are yet hardly ever addressed 
except in tones more or less raised above the con- 
versational pitch. Often in certain situations the 
recollection of the fact that the voice must be thus 
heightened is an effectual preventive of anything 
being said at all. Thus timely, pleasurable, or valu- 
able information has been withheld when the finger- 
alphabet could and would have put it where it would 
have done the most good. 

To the invalid and to the sick room the manual 
alphabet comes, as it were, with healing on its 
wings. Has not every home its sick room dedicated 
to the goddess of perfect quiet, every family its 
invalid, a sort of living original of the marble statue 
of silence with finger forever on lip? How the 
sound of the human voice, be it ever so modulated 
and repressed, racks the ear of the nervous sick 
one ! How the whisper of the nurse or the subdued 
tones of the physician startle him from the repose 
upon which his recovery depends, and turns his 
thoughts into channels that lead to apprehension 
and despondency ! How perfectly, how beautifully, 
the manual alphabet performs its functions here j 
every weary nerve in the sufferer's body cries out, 
" God bless it !" And again, on the other hand, 
when the invalid is incapacitated by disease or ex- 
haustion from using his voice, what a solace to him 
and his attendants it is if he can still express his 
wants by the silent, unlaborious motion of his 

In this connection it is not out of place to refer 
to a more solemn subject — that of the death-bed. 
Some of you who have stood by the dying ere the 
soul has taken its flight may recall — and with what 
feelings I will not say — that last appealing look and 
those vain endeavors of the departing one to ex- 
press some final desire. It is a well-known fact that 
the vocal chords give way long before the muscles 
of the hand ; the dying man is " speechless," while 
his fingers move at will. How many last messages 
to be treasured thenceforth as a most precious heri- 
tage have been lost to the loving ones remaining 
behind — lost because the finger-alphabet was not 

Members of the family of Dr. Thomas Hopkins 
Gallaudet have told me that in his last moments 
such precious and ever to be remembered messages 


Exhibit to Query 13,274. 

continued to come from his fingers after bis tongue 
was paralyzed in death. The same may be said of 
the Rev. B. M. Fay, father of Professor Fay of 
Kendall Green, who passed away last year ; of 
Grace Aguilar, known to us through her " Days of 
Bruce," " Home Influence," and other writings, of 
whom the Annals* says : "In her final illness, when 
the power of speech was gone, she conversed with 
her friends in the manual alphabet, and her last 
words thus expressed were, ' Though he slay me, 
yet will I trust in him.' " Dr. Harvey P. Peet, in 
an obituary notice of Martha Dudley in the same 
periodical,! states the same fact as regards her last 
hours, and mentions at the same time how " Mrs. 
Peet, after she became wholly speechless, spelled 
with her fingers distinctly the word ' Mother,' which 
incident is commemorated in a touching little poem 
of Mrs. Sigourney, ' The last word of the dying.' " 

Thus far I have mentioned only a tithe of the 
circumstances in which a knowledge of the manual 
alphabet would be an advantage — I may say, an 
immeasurable advantage — to hearing people. A 
moment's thought will suggest to any one so many 
further illustrations to the same effect that there 
would not be space or time to give them all. 

I must, however, mention one more. The finger- 
alphabet possesses acknowledged and, in the opin- 
ion of those familiar with its use, an unequalled 
excellence as a means of education in orthography. 
The care and deliberation with which the letters are 
formed, and the concentration of mind that the 
process involves, insure precision beyond any other 

At Kendall Green, and possibly at other places 
similarly situated in regard io schools for the deaf, 
where the hearing children of the locality are formed 
into little schools for private instruction, the finger- 
alphabet has been practically and successfully tested 
in this respect. The teachers like it. " It makes 
the pupil so particular," they say. I ljave in mind 
now children of deaf parents, early used to this 
alphabet, who, on entering public schools, easily led 
their classes in spelling, to the wonderment of their 
teachers until the reason was explained. 

Once more I have recourse to the Annals :% 

" It was a favorite idea of the late Bev. T. H. Gal- 
laudet, the lamented illustrious pioneer of deaf-mute 
education in this country, that the practice of spell- 
ing words with the manual alphabet, even by hear- 
ing and speaking children, might be made very ser- 
viceable to them, by familiarizing them with the cor- 
rect orthography of words aside from the use of the 
ear. The principle upon which the idea is based we 
think to be this : The more varied the form under 
which language is presented to the mind through 
the different senses, the more perfect will be the 
knowledge of it acquired, and the more permanently 
will it be retained." 

In view of the incontestably great usefulness of 
the manual alphabet to the hearing, and considering 
the comparatively little labor and time needed to ac- 
quire it, has not the day arrived when some deter- 
mined effort should be made to adopt it into the 
public-school system of the country 1 Should not 
this matter be urged upon the attention of teachers 
and boards of trustees of the public schools ? Could 
not they be persuaded to hang charts of the manual 
alphabet on the walls of their school-rooms, with cuts 
large enough to be seen without effort from the far- 
thest corner ? Could not they be led to try the ex- 

* Vol. xvii, page 132. 

t Vol. v, page 81. 

J IJavid E. Bartlett, Annals, vol. v, page 33. 


periment of using this alphabet as a means of drill 
in spelling instead of the present method of writing 
out long lists of words ? The same course, by the 
way, might be found useful in recitations in geogra- 

Would not the school-room work move on in 

smoother grooves, with less jar to nerve and temper, 
if a pupil, instead of speaking aloud and thus dis- 
tracting the attention of others from their studies, 
simply spelled out on his hand a request or a ques- 
tion to the teacher ? Would not the teacher himself 
feel more satisfaction in making a remark to a pupil 
in this way, having once caught his eye, than in in- 
terrupting the work of a whole class to do it ? 

The objection may be made that the result would' 
be a demoralization of discipline ; that pupils will 
have still another means of talking in school regard- 
less of rules. To this it might be answered that 
there will always be more or less of this unauthorized 
interchange of ideas in every school-room ; and that 
if it should be carried on through the finger alpha- 
bet there would be less disturbance than if any other 
medium were employed. But in truth the teacher 
possesses a check on the abuse of the manual alpha- 
bet in the fact that he is himself skilled in its use, 
and can tell what his pupils may be saying. A 
teacher in the High School at Washington informs 
me that all unlawful attempts of this sort ceased at 
once when his pupils found that their remarks were 
no riddle to him. 

In keeping this matter within legitimate bounds, 
everything, of course, depends upon whether the 
teacher has tact, influence, character. Lacking 
these qualities, he has no right to be where and 
what he is. With them, he is sure of commanding 
the respect and obedience of his pupils for whatever 
regulations his judgment may lead him to make. 
Where the manual alphabet is employed, as it is in 
schools for the deaf, its use is under proper control. 
Why need the case be different elsewhere ? 

If, thus far, I have failed to expatiate upon the 
benefit— great beyond conception — that the intro- 
duction of the manual alphabet into the schools of 
the hearing would confer upon the deaf-mute him- 
self, it is because this is something that needs only 
to be suggested to be recognized in all its force and 
extent. When we think how the general use of the 
manual alphabet would throw wide open the doors 
of communication between the deaf-mute and the 
hearing — doors that now open with difficulty and 
close again almost as soon as opened ; when with 
the mind's eye we see the deaf child's intellect and 
heart unfolding from tender years in the sunlight 
of knowledge under conditions more analogous to 
those of his hearing playmate ; when we behold the 
deaf adult, wherever he finds himself, whether in 
places of business, in political meetings, in religious 
assemblies, in social gatherings, placed in perfect 
unison with his neighbors and surroundings ; when 
we realize that he moves among his peers with no 
feeling of isolation ; when we know that there may 
be more instances than heretofore in which " the 
charm of waving hands," but without the evil taint 
of the charm that Vivien wiled away from Merlin, 
shall knit together for life the heart of the deaf 
• and that of the hearing, how can we, as members of 
our noble profession, hesitate to give our vote, in- 
dividually and collectively, for the general diffusion 
of the manual alphabet through the public-school 
system of the country ? No ; let us not hesitate ; 
let us not even doubt : 

Our doubts are traitors, 
And make us lose the good we oft might win, 
By fearing to attempt. 

Exhibit to Quebt 13,417. 


[This Exhibit consisted of the following article by Pres. Gallaudet, entitled " How Shall the Deaf be Educated?" 
published in the International Review, December, 1881, and reprinted here by permission of A. S. Barnes & Co., owners 
of the oopyright. An abstract of this paper was given in the American Annals of the Deaf for January, 1882, Vol. 
XXVII, pp. 57, 58 :] 

The heated controversies which have been sus- 
tained for many years as to the merits of rival meth- 
ods of instructing the deaf have, in part, grown out 
of a mistaken idea of classification, and partly out 
of an imperfect understanding of the capabilities of 
the persons to be taught. The synonymous terms 
deaf-mute and deaf and dumb have been applied to 
individuals supposed to form a class in the commu- 
nity. • • 

Schemes for the amelioration of the condition of 
these persons have been urged in the several civilized 
countries, based on the presumption that what would 
be suited to one would be equally helpful to all. A 
certain method of instruction has been successfully 
made use of in certain instances, and the advocates 
of this method have insisted that none other should 
be used with any deaf-mutes. Enthusiastic teachers 
have been blind to the fact that the " class " for 
which they labor must be properly divided and sub- 
divided ; that the mental and physical peculiarities 
of each subdivision must be carefully differentiated ; 
that the capabilities of each individual, even, must 
be understood before it can be determined what 
means of improvement may be resorted to with the 
greatest likelihood of success. It is believed that 
no attempt has ever been made to effect a definite 
division of the class " deaf and dumb " into its proper 
sub-classes, orders, etc., and it is not proposed to 
undertake this at the present time, but only to sug- 
gest a few terms which might be employed in such 
a classification. 

First of all, the class should always be spoken of 
as the deaf. The term deaf-mute should only be 
applied to such as are totally deaf and completely 
dumb. Besides this sub-class, we should then have 
the speaking-deaf, the semi-speaking-deaf, the 
speaking-semi-deaf, the mute-semi-deaf, the hearing- 
mute, the hearing-semi-mute — these last two sub- 
classes being usually persons of feeble mental power. 
In all these sub-classes there would be found those 
of normal mental capacity, those of a capacity a 
little less than normal, others of still weaker men- 
tal power, and so on until the condition of im- 
becility is reached. The imitative faculty would be 
also found to exist in varying degrees ; there would 
be differences in the power of visual perception, of 
tactile perception, as well as diversities of tempera- 
ment, all of which would call for separate classifica- 
tion. It will not be claimed that for each order thus 
indicated a special method of instruction is required ; 
but it is urged that with a class, involving such es- 
sential differences among its sub-classes and orders, 
no single method can be expected to be successful. 

The question, then, which demands consideration 
is not, What is the best method of instructing the 
deaf * but rather, How shall the deaf be educated ? 
And it should be understood that by education is 
implied such a course of instruction and training as 
shall enable its subjects to communicate intelligibly 
with others ; to acquire information from books and 
to write; to engage in some avocation that may 
yield the means of support; and to comprehend 
their duties to their fellow-men, to their country, 
and to their God. For the education of any person, 
the prime requisite is the possession of a means of 
communicating ideas to the pupil, either from the 
living teacher or from books. This the normal child 
possesses in that language which is acquired during 
the years of infancy by imitation and without special 
effort. It is also true that a considerable number 
of the deaf gain speech before losing their hearing, 
many of them retaining their facility of language in 

spite of total deafness. But a large proportion of 
the deaf are without language until they come under 
the care of special instructors. The first labor in 
the education of these, therefore, is to supply their 
lack of the means of communicating with others. 
In the attempt to do this, we are compelled to as- 
certain what forms of language they can acquire, 
and then to determine which they shall be encouraged 
to use. 

It is beyond all question that the form of commu- 
nication natural to the deaf is that of signs and gest- 
ures. In this they seek to express their thoughts 
and feelings while yet untaught by others. And 
instances are numerous where children born deaf 
have so far developed this means of communication 
in their families as to have created what may, not 
improperly, be termed a language — limited in its 
scope it is true, and yet as full in its vocabulary as 
the languages of the most intelligent Indian tribes 
or even of some half-civilized nations.* . When this 
gesture language is still further developed, as it has 
has been in the United States, and in several of the 
countries of Europe by intelligent teachers of the 
deaf, it can be made to serve as a vehicle of thought 
for the conveyance of the most elevated and abstruse 
ideas. But the language of signs is not, as some 
suppose, the only means of communication possible 
to the deaf. It may be remarked, iD passing, that 
many visitors to the College for Deaf-Mutes at 
Washington have said that they supposed the stu- 
dents gained all their instruction through signs, 
being unable to use books or written language. The 
very early as well as the later history of the educa- 
tion of the deaf has proved that to persons born 
totally deaf the power of vocal utterance has been 
imparted, together with an ability to comprehend 
the speech of others, from the movement of the lips, 
which has practically placed them in possession of 
oral language. 

The means of communication possible to the deaf 
are, then, three in number : 1. The language of 
signs ; 2. Oral language ; 3. Written language. 
Either of these may be taught independently of the 
other. The feasibility of teaching the deaf to ex- 
press themselves in writing, and to understand 
printed and written language, except in cases where 
the mind is feeble, is universally admitted ; and the 
importance of this feature of their education, what- 
ever method be employed, is nowhere disputed. It 
is with reference to the use of signs and speech that 
wide differences have existed in the past and still 
exist ; which it is the purpose of this article to rec- 
oncile, and, if possible, set forever at rest. 

First of all, it may be said that for all the deaf who 
have acquired speech before losing hearing — these 
including the speaking-deaf the semi-speaking -deaf, 
and the speaking-semi-deaf — it is most desirable 
that speech should be employed in their instruction 
to the greatest possible extent. They should be 
taught to read from the lips as early as possible, 
and their imperfections in utterance should be cor- 
rected. If it were true that all deaf-mutes (the 
word is used in the limited sense explained above) 
were able to master oral language, there would be 
no question as to the desirableness of attempting to 
bring them into possession of this means Of com- 
munication. And just at this point in the shaded 

* It will be understood that such words as language, vocab- 
ulary, and the like, are made use of in speaking of a voice- 
less and tongueless means of communication, only because of 
the lack of English words whose etymology would be con- 
sistent with the ideas to be expressed. 


Exhibit to Query 13,417. 


pathway of experiment and conjecture, through the 
twilight of which one must pass before entering the 
clear light of demonstration and the certain road of 
accomplished fact, appears the will-o'-the-wisp which 
has encouraged much effort only to crown it with 

As has already been stated, instances are numer- 
ous where congenitally deaf persons have been 
taught to speak well. This has been done in nearly 
every country of Christendom, and in every genera- 
tion from the days when Pedro Ponce de Leon, 
three centuries ago in Spain, taught children - ' deaf 
from birth to speak, to read, write, and keep ac- 
counts, to repeat prayers, to serve the mass, to know 
the doctrines of the Christian religion, and to con- 
fess themselves viva voce." Schools have existed in 
Germany for more than a century where the at- 
tempt has been made, and is continued to the pres- 
ent day, to teach all deaf-mutes to speak. And a 
method, not pursued to any extent in this country 
until within the last fifteen years, which is fre- 
quently spoken of as new, is in fact the oldest of all 
methods of educating persons deprived of hearing 
and speech. In tracing the history of this interest- 
ing feature of the training of the deaf, it is not dif- 
ficult to determine what has led so many teachers 
and others to believe that their general education 
might be conducted by the oral method. And this 
cannot be better made clear than by the relation of 
an incident which occurred in the experience of the 
writer some years since. Having spent a very in- 
teresting day in company with one of the most emi- 
nent and successful teachers of speech to the deaf 
now living in Europe, the writer raised the question 
whether it were true that a good many of his pupils 
did not succeed in speech. " Oh, yes ! " he replied, 
" that is true ; but it is all owing to the laziness or 
stupidity of my assistants." Now this good man 
had, a quarter of a century before, been wonderfully 
successful with a son and daughter of a prominent 
physician of Kotterdam. Out of this success had 
grown up a school liberally endowed by the benev- 
olent in that city ; and because of this success with 
his early highly gifted pupils, this teacher had per- 
sistently, in the face of all discouragements, held to 
the oral method with all who came to him. He had 
never attempted to divide the deaf into classes : he 
had not taken proper account of their widely differing 
capabilities. What had answered in two cases, or 
a few, must succeed with all ; and so when his logic 
and his results disagreed, he ungenerously laid the 
blame on those who had, no doubt, labored with 
zeal and intelligence hardly inferior to his own. 
Other teachers meeting with pupils who could not 
master speech have accounted for their failures in 
various ways, maDy most unjustly assuming that 
all who failed to acquire the power of vocal utter- 
ance were deficient in intellect ; and from not a few 
schools such children have been cruelly dismissed 
as incapable of receiving any instruction, when in 
point of fact their minds were normal, and they 
might have been well educated under a method de- 
pendent on signs and writing as means of commu- 

Without taking further space to prove what will, 
it is believed, be very generally admitted even by 
promoters of the oral method of teaching the deaf — 
viz., that many deaf-mutes are found whose acquisi- 
tions in speech, even under the most favorable cir- 
cumstances, will be very imperfect — the writer 
believes he is justified in assuming that with certain 
deaf-mutes it is not desirable to encourage the use 
of oral language. For these, signs and verbal lan- 
guage in the form of books, writing, and the man- 
ual alphabet should be cultivated as means of com- 
munication between teacher and pupil, for self- 
development and for social intercourse. It is with 
satisfaction that a quotation in support of this view 
is made from the writings of an English instructor 
of the deaf, who though young in his work has 

achieved excellent results in oral teaching, and who 
has taken a very advanced position in favor of the 
oral method. Mr. Arthur A. Kinsey, Principal of the 
Training College for Teachers of the Deaf on the 
German Method, Ealing, near London, in a paper 
presented to the International Convention of In- 
structors of the Deaf, held at Milan in September, 
1880, says : 

" I propose to classify those for whom we are laboring 
according to their physical and mental condition. I shall 
ask your consent to placing the simply deaf on the one side, 
and those deaf and otherwise afflicted on the other ; in this 
latter class I include those suffering from defective brain 
power, imperfect vision, extreme constitutional weakness, or 
serious malformation of the vocal and articulating organs. 
The first division it is proposed to instruct on the German 
system ; the second, on the French." 

"Defective brain power," referred to by Mr. 
Kinsey, must not be understood to mean only im- 
becility, for the term is applicable to imperfect or 
weak memory, lack of the imitative faculty, slowness 
of apprehension, nervousness, and other conditions 
familiar to those who have had to do with the deaf. 
" Imperfect vision " includes near-sightedness, far- 
sightedness, and other abnormal states of the visual 
organs, as common among the deaf as with others, 
all of which stand in the way of success in artificial 
speech, for this depends on the eye no less than on 
the vocal organs. Taking Mr. Kinsey's classifica- 
tion, we have a large percentage of the deaf with 
whom any effort to teach oral language is to be dis- 
couraged. The oral method, therefore, is not to be 
accepted, as many of its promoters insist, as the 
universal and only means of educating the deaf, but 
is to be made use of with a certain proportion only. 

The question will now be raised and answered, 
whether those deaf persons who cannot learn to 
speak are to be regarded as inferior to those who 
can, and are, consequently, more to be pitied. This 
is frequently a matter of great concern to parents 
who have deaf children about to enter upon a course 
of instruction ; and it is true that not a few teach- 
ers and supporters of the oral method would have 
the world believe that those taught under it have a 
far more valuable education than others. At the 
Milan Convention already alluded to, where the oral 
method was most ardently advocated, the sugges- 
tion made by a pupil on exhibition that a deaf per- 
son without speech was no better than a monkey 
was received with undisguised marks of approba- 
tion. A most emphatic protest is here entered 
against the acceptance of any such idea, or anything 
approaching to it ; and it will be shown that, while 
the acquisition of speech by the deaf is a thing to 
be desired and valued, v inability to gain it does not 
stand in the way of securing an education, in the 
fullest sense of that term ; and it will be shown, 
further, that educated deaf-mutes (the word is used 
in its limited sense) possess certain advantages over 
those who mutism has been removed by education. 
The history of the instruction of the deaf in the 
world reveals the fact that in the United States and 
in all the countries of middle and northern Europe, 
except Germany, deaf children have been educated 
in large numbers without an attempt having been 
made to give them speech. With this education 
they have been able, with very few exceptions, to 
provide for their support by their own intelligent 
labor ; a large proportion of them have married 
and reared families, often marrying hearing per- 
sons ; they have mingled freely in society ; they 
have proved themselves good citizens, and have, as 
a rule, lived lives of piety, enjoying the comfort of 
an intelligent religious faith. 

Since the preparation of this paper was begun, a 
letter was shown the writer by the senior professor 
in the College for Deaf-Mutes at Washington, 
which gives an interesting, though of course imper- 
fect, picture of the course in life of one who was a 
pupil of the professor while he was an instructor in 
the institution for the deaf and dumb at Hartford. 


Exhibit to Queey 13,417. 

This letter so well illustrates several points relating 
to the condition of a person deaf from infancy, ed- 
ucated without speech, that no apology is made for 
inserting it entire. It is given, of course, precisely 
as composed by the writer. 

At Home, May 6, 1881. 

My Dkab Teaoheb and Friend : I was indeed delighted 
to hear from you, and that little Minerva was not entirely 
forgotten. Many thanks for the letter and your photo. 
You have changed somewhat since I saw you. You did not 
have any beard or mustache when I saw you last. That 
changed your look very much. You say you are gray! 
How I wish I could see you, to have a chat such as we used 
to have at Hartford. I remember the pleasant good times. 
Let us go back to the year 1860 — that was in the fall when 
we talked about my domestic affairs, while that little daughter 
of mine was lying asleep on the sofa in the parlor. She is a 
young lady now, as nice and lovely as can be. Well, you 
thought you saw my husband then. Yes, but he died the 
following summer from the effects of a severe fall. He left 
me two dear little children, Minnie, now aged 24, and Dan- 
nie, aged 22, a very nice young man, and are still living with 
us. I was again married, in 1868, to Mr. F , a council- 
man, and have three children by him, Edith, aged 10, Bertha 
7, and Lewis 6. All can hear and talk, and are attending 
school — can use the sign-language fluently. 

Mr. F is a very agreeable companion and an indulgent 

father to his children, even to Minnie and Dannie, and has 
done everything to make us happy. He was an only child 
and an old bachelor too, when he married me. Oh, is it 
not sweet to be called an old man's dabmng ? He is a hear- 
ing man and handsome. We live on a nice farm lying at 
the foot south of " Woonsocket Hill" — a very pleasant lo- 
cation. I like living in the country the best. 

Do you remember my brother Charles and my sister De- 
sire ? They were at school at the same time you was there. 
They live a little way from here, and of course we see each 
other almost every day. Charles was married a year ago at 
the ripe of age of 52 to a young deaf-mute lady aged 20, late 
of New York. They seem to be very happy together. Sister 
Desire is living with them, having been divorced from her 
husband for his neglect and misconduct. She has a son aged 
22, and am sorry to say that he is like his father and is away 

My dear mother died a year ago aged 86 years. — Oh, I must 
tell you that she and President Garfield's mother were cousins. 
We descended from Maturin Ballou : I have plenty of proofs. 
Are you acquainted with General Garfield ? I am going to 
write a letter to Grandma Eliza Garfield soon. Mother often 
spoke of her. Mother's maiden name was Freelove Ballou. 

I think I have changed some since I saw you. Have grown 
fleshy. Not gray yet, and am almost 46 years. My teeth are 
as good as when I left school. I am well embalmed I guess, 
— ha ! ha ! I am still lively, gay, fun-loving as ever, and as 
happy as fat clams in high-tide ! Among my pleasures and 
blessings I do not forget my dear Heavenly Father, and al- 
ways am thankful. I shall send you my photo taken two 
weeks ago. Does it look like little Minerva — what do you 
think of it ? Have I aged a great deal ? I can almost see 
you smile. Whenever you come East please drop into Little 
Bhody and give us a visit. We shall all be happy to see you. 
I have so often spoke of you that they are almost acquainted 
with you. Will you please favor me with a lock of your 
hair — do I ask too much ? I am making a wreath out of hairs 
of my choicest friends. The whitest look I have is my old 
teacher Mr. Turner. 

I have written all I think would interest you, and quite a 
lengthy letter — I fear a tiresome one too. Will now close 
with hopes to hear from you soon. God bless yon ! I am 
Affectionately yours, 

Mrs. F . 

It will be noticed that very few errors of language 
appear in Mrs. F.'s composition ; that as a deaf-mute 
widow with two children she was able to make an 
advantageous match with a hearing man (and it may 
be remarked that her first husband was also a hear- 
ing man) ; in short, that, in spite of her total deaf- 
ness and unrelieved dumbness, she has lived a happy 
and useful life in free intercourse with hearing peo- 
ple, apparently at no great disadvantage on account 
of her physical disabilities. 

Now it is not designed, in showing that deaf-mutes 
who have not learned to speak may nevertheless live 
happy and useful lives, to underrate the importance 
of adding speech to their other acquirements when- 
ever it is possible to do so ; nor yet to shield from 
a certain measure of criticism those teachers of the 
deaf in our own and other countries who have neg- 
lected or rejected the teaching of oral language in 
the education of the deaf. But it is the wish of the 
writer to emphasize the fact that teaching the deaf 

to speak and to read from the lips of others is not 
educating them, that it is not the thing of paramount 
importance, that it is not even an element of the 
greatest consequence. It is urged, therefore, with- 
out hesitation, that in cases where the process of im- 
parting speech is found to be attended with great 
difficulties, and the degree of success in the early 
stages is small, it is better to discontinue the effort, 
relying on signs, writing, and the manual alphabet 
for the prosecution of the great work of education 
which is still entirely practicable. 

It has been intimated that educated deaf-mutes 
possess certain advantages over those to whom the 
power of speech has been imparted, and the writer 
is well aware that many promoters of articulation 
will smile at this proposition — which he wishes, how- 
ever, seriously to discuss, with no purpose of under- 
valuing speech, but with a view of encouraging and 
comforting those who may fail in their endeavor to 
overcome dumbness. In the first place the deaf- 
mute in the manual alphabet — facility in the use of 
which may be readily acquired by his friends and 
acquaintances — has a means of communication at his 
command for all the social and business relations of 
life far more certain, comprehensive, and satisfac- 
tory than speech and lip-reading. For it must be 
understood by the unprofessional that the ability to 
speak and read from the lips, enjoyed by many to- 
tally deaf persons, is by no means the same thing as 
normal speech and hearing, though some teachers 
of articulation would have the world believe that it 
is. There is a degree of uncertainty varying with 
circumstances, demanding repetition, explanation, 
and at times a resort to writing, which often makes 
oral communication with deaf persons far from satis- 
factory and comfortable. With many such persons 
conversation is limited to commonplaces. With 
most of them the free interchange of the " social 
circle " is impossible, communication being restricted 
to two persons, and these so placed with reference 
to each other that the vocal organs of each shall be 
in full view of the other. Now when conversation 
is carried on between two persons, or in the social cir- 
cle, through the manual alphabet, all these difficul- 
ties disappear. Thought is transmitted from the fin- 
gers through the eyes to the brain with as great 
readiness and exactitude as from the tongue through 
the ear ; both these processes are natural ; neither 
of them puts a strain upon Nature. But when the 
eye is compelled to recognize the differences, often 
slight, which appear in the external aspect of the 
organs of speech when vocal sounds are uttered, a 
demand is made upon Nature to which she is not al- 
ways able to respond. There is consequently a ne- 
cessity for such close attention in order to lose as 
little as possible of what is being said, that the mind 
is not free to attend to the subject of conversation, 
but is occupied rather with the effort to understand. 
This serious drawback is entirely absent from com- 
munications by means of the manual alphabet. 

The writer trusts he may be pardoned for saying 
that in respect to this matter of the relative com- 
fort, fulness, and exactitude of the two means of 
conversing with deaf persons, just described, he has 
had opportunities for extended personal experiment. 
With the finger alphabet he has been familiar from 
his childhood, and its use is as easy to him as speech. 
Within the past ten or twelve years he has met 
many well educated deaf persons who declined to 
use the manual alphabet, and depended wholly on 
speech and Up-reading in their communications 
with others. With these he has found himself 
laboring under restrictions, such as have been re- 
ferred to, which detracted not a little from the 
freedom and consequently from the pleasure of con- 
versation ; and he does not remember a single in- 
stance of such intercourse when he was not led to 
reflect on the great advantage attaching to the use 
of the finger alphabet by the deaf. At this point 
the question naturally arises, " What hinders deaf 

Exhibit to Query 13.417. 


persons who have the power of speech and the 
ability to read from the lips of others from using 
the manual alphabet at will ? " to which it may be 
replied, "Nothing whatever." And when the ques- 
tion follows, " Why then do they not avail them- 
selves of its benefits ? " the answer is, " Because they 
have been unwisely advised by their teachers to ab- 
stain from its use, as well as from the use of the 
sign-language, in the hope of attaining thereby to 
greater perfection in speech and lip-reading than 
they would be likely to do if they allowed them- 
selves other means of communication." And more- 
over, they have in many instances been inspired by 
their teachers with a false shame of being taken 
for deaf-mutes, and their vanity has been inflamed 
by being assured that through the acquisition of 
speech they would be removed from the class in 
which their natural disability had placed them, and 
so " restored to society," whatever that phrase, so 
often used by promoters of the oral method, may 

The limits of this paper will not allow an exhaus- 
tive discussion of these points ; but the attention of 
the reader may be directed to the fact that speech 
and the manual alphabet do not constitute two lan- 
guages, rendering it important that only one should 
be cultivated at a time — they are merely two forms 
of expressing the same language, and hence may be 
used interchangeably without fear of evil results. 
And those whose greatest interest in the education 
of the deaf centres on perfecting them in speech 
and lip-reading should remember that with all their 
skill and zeal they cannot give the slightest hint of 
actual hearing to their pupils, and that failing in 
this they must remain a class in the community ; 
also, that it is a mistaken kindness to cause their 
pupils to look down on such deaf persons as may 
fail to acquire speech. Besides having the impor- 
tant advantage of the use of the manual alphabet, 
deaf-mutes are more favorably situated than the 
speaking-deaf 'in this, that their lack of speech gives 
them an additional hold on the sympathies of others. 
They are felt to be more in need of a helping hand 
than those who undertake to communicate as the 
world does. The graceful movements by which 
they convey their ideas are attractive and interest- 
ing ; while the speech of the deaf, never perfect and 
often painfully defective, is repellent and sometimes 
even distressing. Not a few parents of young deaf- 
mutes, having heard the speech of those who had been 
taught to articulate, have insisted that their children 
should not be instructed in speech, so disagreeable 
to them was the utterance of a totally deaf person. 
Still another advantage do well-educated deaf-mutes 
enjoy over the speaking-deaf — and this is the free en- 
joyment and use of the language of signs. The terms 
" free enjoyment and use " are emphasized because 
it is true that the speaking-deaf do make a certain 
use of signs, in spite of the prohibition that is 
sought to be enforced in the oral schools. Assum- 
ing to reject them, both teachers and pupils resort 
to them, the latter often surreptitiously, for the 
simple reason that among the deaf they serve a pur- 
pose of which, in many instances, nothing can take 
the place. And this is a proof, though not the only 
one, of what has been already claimed — that the 
language of signs is natural to the deaf. 

There is at present connected with the college at 
Washington a young man of rather more than 
average intelligence, whose first training was re- 
ceived in an oral school where signs were very little 
used. After some years he was placed in an insti- 
tution where the sign-language in its full develop- 
ment was freely employed. This young man has 
assured the writer that the acquisition and use of 
the language of signs seemed to open a new world 
to him. Thought was stimulated ; a freedom of 
intercourse with others, unknown before, was devel- 
oped ; the enjoyment of public speaking (through 
signs) was added ; and the general pleasure of life 

doubled. What is true in the case of this young 
man has been true of others, and would be of many 
more were they similarly favored by circumstances. 
Without any attempt to discuss this point exhaus- 
tively, it may be said that totally deaf persons can 
directly enjoy public speaking — such as lectures, 
preaching, addresses, and discussions — only through 
the medium of the sign-language. A friend may give 
them the substance of spoken discourses with the 
manual alphabet ; but the claim, made by some, that 
when they have mastered lip-reading they can un- 
derstand public speaking, is not well founded. To 
be en rapport with them, one who would address 
them directly must employ that language which 
alone is natural to them. The writer has seen so 
much of the pleasure and profit derived by the deaf 
from addresses made to them in their own language, 
that he can think only with pity of the loss sus- 
tained by those who, from mistaken notions of their 
own advantage, decline to make use of the means 
of communication which benignant Nature has es- 
pecially designed for them. Strange as it seems to 
these who know in their own experience what the 
resources and value of the sign-language are in the 
education of the deaf, there are some who reject it 
and place it under a ban. That its use may be car- 
ried to injurious excess by injudicious persons is 
admitted; but the same is true of many things 
which man cannot spare from the social economy. 

In urging the use of the language of signs, to a 
greater or less degree, in all schools for the deaf, 
no stronger arguments can be presented than are 
given by one of the most distinguished and success- 
ful teachers of articulation in Germany, the late 
Moritz Hill of Weisenfels, whose experience as an 
instructor of the deaf in speech extended over a 
period of more than forty years. In his comprehen- 
sive work, " Der gegenwartige Zustand des Taub- 
stummen-Bildungswesens in Deutschland," Mr. Hill 
alludes to the fact that some persons have charged 
upon the "German method" the proscription of 
every species of pantomimic language, and says : 
" Such an idea must be attributed to malevolence or 
to unpardonable levity. This practice is contrary to 
nature and repugnant to the rules of sound educa- 
tional science." And then, after condemning even 
more sharply those who would attempt to educate 
the deaf without signs, he gives the following com- 
prehensive estimate of the value of the sign-langu- 
age : 

" I acknowledge in this language of natural signs — 

"1. One of the two universally intelligible innate forms of 
expression granted by God to mankind — a form which is in 
reality more or less employed by every human being. 

" 2. The only form of expression which by the deaf and 
dumb child can be fashioned without the aid of extraordinary 
practice, just as his mother tongue suffices to the hearing 
child, eventually arranging itself into forms of thought, and 
unfolding itself into spoken language. 

" 3. The reflex of actual experiences. 

" 4. The element in which the mental life of the deaf-mute 
begins to germinate and grow ; the only means whereby on 
his admission to the school he may express his thoughts, 
feelings, and wishes. 

" 5. A very imperfect natural production, because it re- 
mains for the most part abandoned to a limited sphere of 
hap-hazard culture. 

" 6. A valuable mirror for the teacher, in which the in- 
tellectual stand -point of his pupil is exhibited to him. 

" 7. At first the only, and consequently indispensable, 
means of comprehension between teacher and pupil, bnt not 
a language which we merely need to translate into ours in 
order to induct him into the latter tongue. 

"8. An instrument of mental development and substantial 
instruction made use of in the intercourse of the pupils with 
each other ; for example, the well-known beneficial influences 
which result from the association of the new pupils with the 
more advanced. 

" 9. A means, but not the only one, whereby to supply a 
lack of clearness in other methods of communication, and 
leading back, in extraordinary cases, to the real object, or to 
its representation in drawing or model. 

" 10. The most convenient, quick, and certain means in 
many cases of making one's self understood by deaf-mutes, 
whether during tuition or out of school hours, and therefore 
also employed, perhaps, very often without need, even with- 
out volition. 


Exhibit to Query 13,417. 

" 11. A very welcome means of revisal and correction 
when articulation brings into use, for example, an ambigu- 
ous word. 

"12. A most efficacious means of assisting even pupils in 
the higher degrees of school training, giving light, warmth, 
animation to spoken language, which for some time after its 
introduction continues dull and insipid. 

"13. A practical means of communication with others 
beyond the walls of the deaf and dumb institution, whether 
it be used by itself or in connection with articulation." 

Then, after extending somewhat the train of 
thought suggested by these clearly stated points, 
the author thus concludes what he has to say in this 
part of his book on the use of signs : 

" But it is particularly in the teaching of religion that the 
language of pantomime plays an important part, especially 
when it is not only necessary to instruct but to operate on 
sentiment and will, either because here this language is in- 
dispensable to express the moral state of man, his thoughts 
and his actions, or that the word alone makes too Utile im- 
pression on the eye of the mute to produce, without the aid of 
pantomime, the desired effect in a manner sure and suffici- 

Who will take the responsibility of proscribing 
the use of the language of signs in the general edu- 
cation of the deaf in the face of such testimony from 
such a source, after such aa experience ? 

The importance of the sign-language to the deaf 
might be still further discussed ; but the limits of 
this paper will allow nothing more than the remark 
that the fifth point quoted from Hill shows that 
with all his appreciation of the value of signs he had 
never developed them, as the French and American 
instructors have done, for certainly they have not 
been left to " a limited sphere of hap-hazard cul- 
ture " in France or in the United States. 

It now remains to answer, in a practical manner, 
the question chosen as the title to this paper. That 
no one method is to displace all others has, it is 
believed, been made evident. There must then be 
a system that shall include every method which can 
be shown to be of real service to any sub-class or 
order of the deaf. The writer has made use, in 
several publications, of the term "Combined Sys- 
tem " in advocating the cause of the deaf. This 
term is thought to be an expressive one, and is cer- 
tainly broad enough to include everything that is 
valuable to the deaf. That there may be no mis- 
apprehension of its meaning an attempt will be 
made to show how it is susceptible of somewhat 
different applications under conditions not identical. 
In a small State or section, where for economical 
reasons it would be impracticable to have more than 
one institution for the education of the deaf, the 
Combined System would suggest divisions and 
classes in which oral instruction would be empha- 
sized and made prominent, while in other divisions 
and classes no attention would be paid to this 
branch. In such States as New York, Ohio, Penn- 
sylvania, Indiana, and Illinois, the Combined System 
would call for the establishment of separate schools 
in which the several methods might be pursued, 
care being taken that the capabilities of the pupil 
and the peculiarity of the method should be in har- 
mony. And as it is true that, in the country gener- 
ally, articulation ought to have a more prominent 
place in the education of the deaf than is at present 
accorded to it, it is to be hoped that the example 
set by New England and New York of maintaining 
schools in which only those pupils shall be retained 
who are found capable of success in speech, may be 
speedily followed by Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, 
and Illinois, in all which States there is urgent 
need of increased provision for this branch of public 

* By the benevolent bequests of a lady recently deceased 
in Philadelphia, the authorities of the Pennsylvania Institu- 
tion for the Deaf and Dumb have come into the possession 
of funds, with which they have determined to establish two 
separate schools for small children in Philadelphia — one fol- 
lowing the oral method, the other the sign method. 

Having secured, under the Combined System, 
either in separate schools or in well divided classes, 
the application of the different methods accepted as 
valuable to the diverse capabilities of the deaf, the 
use of the manual alphabet and the language of 
signs in all schools is to be urged — these means of 
communication being employed, of course, to a much 
greater extent in silent schools than in those follow- 
ing the oral method. But in the latter it is earnestly 
recommended that advanced pupils, such as have 
practically mastered speech, be afforded the great 
advantage of receiving moral and religious instruc- 
tion through signs, as well as the benefit of lectures 
and addresses of a secular character. It would thus 
become necessary that all teachers of the deaf should 
be familiar with the manual alphabet, and that in 
every oral school there should be one or more of 
the instructors well versed in the language of signs. 
In the silent schools care should be taken in the 
employment of signs, lest their excessive use inter- 
fere with the progress of the pupil in mastering 
verbal language ; and in such schools, the use of the 
manual alphabet should be encouraged even with 
very young pupils, as a means of conversation among 
themselves and with their teachers. The importance 
of employing in all schools only well-trained teachers, 
and such as possess a natural fitness for the work of 
instruction, cannot be overestimated ; for no method, 
however valuable in itself, can be successful, except 
when practised by able and skilful hands. And if 
to secure the services of such it be necessary to pay 
what may seem to be large salaries, it is to be hoped 
that the spirit of benevolence, which leads legisla- 
tures to provide for so humane a work as the educa- 
tion of the deaf, will not fail of providing that the 
work may be done in the best possible manner. 

Economy in public expenditure, as in private, is 
no doubt a virtue ; but its over-cultivation produces 
the vice of parsimony as readily in the one case as 
in the other. And it is a fact greatly to be deplored, 
that, in schools for the deaf as in others, the welfare 
of pupils has suffered because of a disposition to 
make use of inferior services in order that appro- 
priations and taxation may be slightly diminished. 
An evil largely due to such mistaken ideas of econ- 
omy must not be overlooked in this connection; 
namely, the enlargement of single institutions until 
the number of pupils under one management is 
counted by many hundreds. It is argued that one 
school of four or five hundred pupils can be con- 
ducted at much less than double the expense of two 
schools, each of half the number. Granting this, it 
will be admitted on the other hand by all candid 
persons, that the congregation of large numbers of 
children away from their homes for purposes of 
education involves many evils, which may be in a 
great degree avoided by allowing the numbers in a 
single establishment to be no more than is necessary 
to a suitable arrangement of grades and classes. 

At the beginning of this article an allusion was 
made to " heated controversies " which have been 
maintained with more or less bitterness as to the 
merits of rival methods of instructing the deaf. 

Perhaps this effort to answer the question How 
shall the deaf be educated? can be closed in no 
more satisfactory manner than by recording the 
gratifying fact, that while in Europe these " contro- 
versies " are continued in a spirit which is not always 
magnanimous, or even fair, in our own country 
harmony prevails among those whose views as to 
the relative advantages of the different methods are 
not yet in perfect accord. Cordial interchange of 
sentiments takes place in conventions to which all 
teachers, of whatever shade of opinion, are invited. 
Success under any method is recognized and ap- 
plauded. And a tendency is plainly discernible 
towards a general approval of such a Combined 
System as has been described, in the successful 
operation of which, throughout our whole country, 
the best possible results are to be anticipated. 

Exhibit to Queby 13,427. 


[This Exhibit consisted of the following Report upon the Milan Convention by Pres. Gallaudet, published in the 
Annals for January, 1881, Vol. XXVI, pp. 1-16 :] 

The readers of the A nnals will remember that in 
the summer of 1878, during the progress of the 
French Universal Exhibition, a meeting of instruc- 
tors of the deaf and dumb was hastily convened, to 
which the commanding name of International Con- 
vention (Congres Universel) was given. Twenty- 
seven teachers attended this gathering, out of which 
number twenty-three were from France ; Sweden, 
Austria, Switzerland, and Belgium each furnishing 
a single delegate. The character of the assemblage, 
therefore, did not correspond with its title, and as 
an attempted representation of the work and various 
methods of deaf-mute instruction in the world, as 
well as of the opinions held by instructors, the Con- 
vention of Paris was a failure. Moreover, it is well 
known that the management of the Convention was 
in the hands of the promoters of articulation, and 
more especially under the control of representatives 
of the Pereire Society (la Societe Pereire), an asso- 
ciation established some years since in Paris for the 
purpose of securing the recognition of Pereire as the 
first teacher of deaf-mutes in France, and to bring 
about the general adoption of the oral method, which 
was practised by Pereire. It is probably not so 
generally known that several great-grandsons of 
Pereire are now living in Paris ; that they are united 
in a very wealthy banking firm, and that they have 
been contributing large sums of money during the 
past few years for the support of the Pereire Society, 
and the Pereire School for deaf-mutes, of which Mr. 
Magnat is the principal. 

The Paris Convention appointed a committee of 
twelve of its own members to make arrangements 
for a second international meeting. Of those com- 
posing this committee, eleven were from France, and 
a very large majority were ardent promoters of the 
method of articulation Milan was selected as the 
place in which the Convention of 1880 should be 
held, in which city are to be found two institutions 
formerly conducted on the method of the Abbe de 
l'Epee, but which for the past ten years have been 
giving the greatest possible prominence to articu- 

When the Convention came to be organized, the 
head of one of the Milan schools, the Abbe Tarra, 
was made President, and the leading instructor in 
the other school, Professor Fornari, was made Sec- 
retary. Of the four Vice-Presidents and four Vice- 
Secretaries, seven were pronounced supporters of 

Two days before the opening of the Convention 
were devoted to public examinations of the Milan 
schools, at which the delegates were earnestly urged 
to be present ; and during one-half of each day that 
the Convention was in session no sittings were held, 
in order to leave the members free to visit the Milan 

All these facts are mentioned in order to show — 
which certainly cannot be disputed — that in arrang- 
ing for the Convention the promoters of articulation 
secured every possible advantage to themselves, im- 
parting a partisan character to the whole affair from 
the very outset. And the sequel will prove that the 
Convention at Milan was no more international or 
representative in its composition than that of Paris ; 
that its formal utterances are no more to be taken 
as representing the sentiments of teachers of the 
deaf and dumb throughout the world than are the 
resolutions of a party nominating convention to be 
regarded as a fair expression of the opinions of the 
whole community. 

And yet a journal of no less prominence and in- 
fluence than the London Times gravely announces, 
in a labored editorial published a few days after the 
adjournment of the Milan Convention, that " no 
more representative body could have been collected 
than that which at Milan has declared for oral teach- 
ing for the deaf, and for nothing but oral teaching," 
and speaks of the action of the Convention as ex- 
pressing a " virtual unanimity of preference for oral 
teaching which might seem to overbear all possibility 
of opposition." 

With such stupidity, if it be nothing worse, on 
the part of the conductors of one of the leading 
journals of the world, it is not easy to be patient. 

If the editors of the Times had taken the slight- 
est pains to inquire, they would have learned that 
out of the one hundred and sixty-four active mem- 
mers of the Convention eighty-seven, or a clear ma- 
jority of ten, were from Italy ; that fifty-six were 
from Prance, making, with the Italian members, a 
majority of seven-eighths; that, of the eight English 
delegates, six were ardent articulationists, and only 
two at all favorable to any other method — a propor- 
tion which entirely misrepresents the present senti- 
ment of English teachers of the deaf ; that the only 
truly representative delegation present was that from 
the United States, consisting of five members, duly 
accredited to the Milan meeting by a Conference of 
Principals of American Institutions for the Deaf and 
Dumb held at Northampton last May, in which the 
supporters of the several methods of instruction 
now made use of in this country (including all that 
are known in the world) were assembled in friendly 
council ; that the American delegates represented fifty- 
one schools, containing over six thousand pupils — a 
greater number than was represented by all the other 
one hundred and fifty-nine delegates taken together ; 
that the Convention allowed the American delegates 
to be out-voted in the proportion of nearly ten to 
one by the representatives of the two schools of 
Milan, they being accorded forty-six seats in the 

Possibly, if all these facts had come to the knowl- 
edge of the editors of the Times before the publica- 
tion of the article quoted from above, less might 
have been said as to the " representative " character 
of the Milan meeting. 

But we are not yet done with the " Thunderer " 
of Great Britain, for it is unfortunate in the corre- 
spondents it employs as well as iu its editorial staff. 

In an account of the public examinations, so called, 
of the Milan schools, given on the two days preced- 
ing the assembling of the Convention, the Times 
reporter says : 

" Let it be noted that the medium of examination 
— the sole medium of communication, in fact, be- 
tween pupil and examiner, whether teacher or visi- 
tor — was speech — speech alone. Every word of the 
examination was uttered audibly ; every word of the 
answer was spoken in like manner, audibly and 
loudly. There was not even in this country, where 
gesture and action so commonly accompany speech, 
the least resort to signs or finger language. * * * 
Deaf children were addressed just as if they were 
not deaf, in spoken language, and they one and all 
answered in spoken language, though in our coun- 
try we call them dumb." 

Now, while this was all true, the English letter- 
writer failed to report that the examinations fol- 
lowed very closely the printed programmes ; that 
the answers were in <many instances begun before 



Exhibit to Query 13,427. 

the examiner had completed his question ; that no 
real examination was made by outside persons ; that 
many pupils were asked very few questions, while 
certain other pupils were examined at great length ; 
that these discriminations were made by the teachers 
in every instance ; that no information was given as 
to the history of any pupil — that is to say, as to 
whether deafness was congenital or acquired, and 
whether speech had been developed before hearing 
Was lost or not ; that the impression was thus sought 
to be conveyed to the audiences that all the speech 
possessed by all the pupils had been imparted to 
them by their teachers, which was certainly not the 
case. In view of all which we do not hesitate to- 
characterize these so-called examinations as mere 
exhibitions, deserving to have very little influence 
With the professional observer. 

The labors of the Convention began at noon on 
Monday, Sept. 6, and all the time of that day's ses- 
sion was consumed in complimentary speeches and 
the election of officers. 

The subjects presented for discussion by the Com- 
mittee on Organization were grouped in four classes, 
as follows : (1) Those relating to buildings, and all 
material arrangements for the accommodation of in- 
mates of institutions ; (2) everything concerning 
the details of instruction ; (3) the various methods 
of teaching ; (4) special questions. 

After what has been said as to the organization 
and complexion of the Convention, it will surprise 
no one that, among the many topics suggested in 
the programme, that of methods of instruction 
should have engrossed the time of the Convention 
to the exclusion of almost everything else. 

Discussion was begun on the second day by the 
presentation of a printed volume of one hundred 
and sixteen pages, prepared by Mr. Magnat, princi- 
pal of the Pereire school for deaf-mutes in Paris. Jn 
this brochure all the topics included in the first three 
groups were treated in extenso. A small portion 
only of this volume was read to the Convention. As 
an evidence of the entente cordiale existing between 
the head of the Pereire family and those who are 
working under its patronage, the dedication of this 
volume is interesting : 

"A Monsieur Eugene Pereire, President du 
Comit'e d' organisation du Oongres international 
de Milan. JTommage deparfait attachment. 


Mrs. B. St. John Ackers, well known to the read- 
ers of the Annals as an accomplished English 
lady who has been for some years superintending 
the education of a deaf daughter, read a paper on 
the "Mental development of the deaf under the 
German system." 

Mrs. Ackers was followed by Miss Susanna E. 
Hull, of London, the mistress of a private school 
for deaf-mutes, in a paper entitled " My experience 
of various methods of educating the deaf-born." 

Both these ladies urged in eloquent language the 
superiority of the German or oral method over the 
French or sign method, but neither recognized the 
objection which may be raised against the oral 
method for all deaf-mutes : that, in point of fact, a 
large proportion of the deaf are incapable of attain- 
ing any real success in speech and lip-reading. 

The writer of this article opposed the use of either " 
the German or the French method to the exclusion 
of the other, and advocated a combined system, in 
which all available means should be employed, these 
being wisely adapted to the diverse conditions of 
those who are to be taught. 

He admitted the propriety of maintaining schools 
in which the oral method should prevail, but insisted 
that at the same time other schools should be pro- 
vided for the benefit of those who are incapable of 
success in speech. 

These views, however, found little favor in the 
Convention, and after a debate, absorbing three en- 

tire days, in which the presiding officer, the Abbe 
Tarra, was the most prominent speaker, he occupy- 
ing more than two hours on two successive days, 
the following resolutions were adopted, the only 
negative voices being those of the American dele- 
gates and one English delegate, Mr. Richard Elliott, 
headmaster of the old London Institution : 

1. " The Convention, considering the incontesta- 
ble superiority of speech over signs, (1) for restor- 
ing deaf-mutes to social life, (2) for giving them 
greater facility of language, declares that the method 
of articulation should have the preference over that 
of signs in the instruction and education of the deaf 
and dumb." 

2. " Considering that the simultaneous use of signs 
and speech has the disadvantage of injuring speech 
and lip-reading and precision of ideas, the Convention 
declares that the pure oral method ought to be pre- 

On the fifth day of the meeting the writer of this 
article was invited by the President to read a paper 
he had prepared on the higher or collegiate educa- 
tion of the deaf and dumb, suggested by the second 
of the special questions proposed in the programme : 

" Where and how can those whom deafness has 
prevented from pursuing classical studies receive an 
education equivalent to that of the higher schools 
open to hearing and speaking students ? Should it 
be in a higher department of the institutions for the 
deaf and dumb, or in a special institution ? With 
special or with ordinary instructors ? " 

The writer argued in favor of the establishment 
of colleges for the deaf in the several countries of 
Europe, and maintained that, even with the high- 
est possible facility in speech and lip-reading, 
the number of deaf students that could pass suc- 
cessfully through an ordinary college would be very 
small. The effort to give the higher education in 
each institution to the mere handful that would be 
capable of receiving it was objected to as expensive 
and impracticable. The writer demonstrated the 
practicability of his ideas by giving a history of the 
successful progress, during the last sixteen years, 
of the National Deaf-Mute College at Washington. 

The suggestion of the founding of colleges for 
the deaf in Europe was warmly endorsed by Mr. 
Hugentobler, of Lyons, Padre Marchio, of Siena, 
and the Abbe Balestra, of Paris. The President ex- 
pressed the thanks of the Convention for the paper 
on Collegiate Education, and desired a copy for pub- 

The suggestion was made that the Convention 
give a formal expression of its approval of the idea 
of establishing colleges for the deaf in Europe, but 
Herr Treibel, of Berlin, followed by others, urged 
that the higher education should not be undertaken 
in Europe while so many deaf-mutes were unable to 
secure even the primary education. 

The discussion on the subject was closed by the 
adoption of the following : " Considering that a 
great number of deaf-mutes do not receive the bene- 
fit of instruction, and that this is due to the poverty 
of their families and the want of suitable institu- 
tions, the Convention resolves that Governments 
ought to take the necessary steps so that all the 
deaf and dumb shall receive instruction." 

The writer had the pleasure of stating. to the 
Convention that the provision urged by the resolu- 
tion was already made, with very rare exceptions, 
throughout the States of the American Union. The 
remainder of the session of Friday was occupied in 
the discussion of a few details in the work of teach- 
ing, more especially concerning instruction in gram- 

On Saturday, the closing day of the meeting, res- 
olutions were adopted urging the preparation of 
special text-books to be used in teaching deaf-mutes 
by the oral method ; advising the entrance of pupils 
into school between the ages of eight and ten years, 

Exhibit to Query 13,427. 


and their continuance under instruction for at least 
seven years ; advising that no more than ten pupils 
be assigned to one instructor, and counselling a 
gradual and progressive substitution of the oral 
method in institutions in which it is not now em- 

It was decided that the next International Con- 
vention should be held at Basle, in August, 1883, 
and after the usual complimentary speeches and 
resolutions, the Convention adjourned. 

The following papers prepared for the Convention 
were not read, but will be published in the pro- 
ceedings : " Advantages to the Deaf of the ' Ger- 
man ' system in after-life," by B. St. John Ackers ; 
" On the Education of the Deaf," by Arthur A. Kin- 
sey, Principal of the Training College for Teachers 
of the Deaf on the German method, Ealing, near 
London ; " Speech and lip-reading for the Deaf ; 
a teacher's testimony to the German system," by 
David Buxton, Ph. D., Secretary of the Society for 
training teachers of the Deaf and Diffusion of the 
" German " system in the United Kingdom ; and 
"The Combined System," by the venerable and 
eminent Monseigneur De Haerne, of Brussels, whose 
labors and writings in behalf of deaf-mute education 
are so well known and so highly appreciated in 

That the business committee did not arrange for 
the reading of this last paper is an additional proof 
of the partisan character of the management of the 
Convention, for in the discussion of the matter of 
methods fully nine-tenths of the time was occupied 
by the advocates of the pure oral method. It is, 
however, not difficult to understand that, in a con- 
vention largely made up of ecclesiastics of the Bo- 
man Church, the promoters of the pure oral method 
should have preferred that so high an authority as 
Monseigneur De Haerne should not be heard in 
opposition to their views. Had he been present 
at the Convention, it is .probable that the majority 
in favor of the pure oral method would have been 
considerably less than it was. And in this connec- 
tion we are constrained to mention a fact that is 
not without a certain significance in estimating the 
value to be placed on the conclusions of the Con- 

A majority of the French delegates were mem- 
bers of an ecclesiastical order called the Brother- 
hood of St. Gabriel. Many of. these brothers ex- 
pressed the opinion freely in private conversation 
that signs could not be dispensed with in the in- 
struction of deaf-mutes, and also that not all deaf- 
mutes could succeed under the oral method. They 
took no part, however, in the debate until towards 
the close, when Frere Hubert, inspector of the 
schools under the direction of the Brothers, rose 
and announced his conversion to the "pure oral 
method," closing his little speech by giving thanks 
to M. Eugene Pereire, through whose liberality the 
members of his brotherhood had been enabled to 
visit Milan and attend the Convention. And not a 
brother of St. Gabriel voted against the method of 

Having now given a brief outline of the proceed- 
ings of the Convention, and having demonstrated, as 
we believe, that it was wholly partisan in its man- 
agement and not at all representative in its com- 
position or manner of voting, we will attempt to 
show that the declarations of the Convention (as to 
methods) are in some respects inconsistent with the 
expressed views of their prominent supporters, and 
that these conclusions are based on unsound prem- 
ises ; in fine, that they are deserving of no weight 
whatever with broad-minded, candid, and progres- 
sive friends of deaf-mutes. 

If the reader will turn back to resolutions one 
and two, and will consider them together, it will be 
perceived that not only is the method of articulation 
given the preference over that of signs, but that 


signs are not to be used simultaneously with speech ; 
in other words, all use of signs is to be prohibited 
in the instruction of deaf-mutes. That such was 
the requirement of the " pure oral method " its sup- 
porters maintained most earnestly at certain points 
in the debate, and yet at certain other stages of the 
discussion it was admitted that signs are used un- 
der the " pure oral method," and Professor Fornari 
offered a resolution in which he endeavored to state 
in terms to what extent signs were to be employed. 
This resolution was supported by Mr. Hugentobler 
and several of the more conservative supporters of 
articulation. But the radicals felt that the admis- 
sions of Fornari's resolution would be inconsistent 
with the term " pure oral," with which they had re- 
solved to christen their method, and of course did 
not sustain the motion. 

Unfortunate pure oralists! Either horn of the 
dilemma was found to be an uneasy and painful rest- 
ing place. If they admitted that signs were em- 
ployed, the world would smile at the use of the 
words "pure oral." If they told the world they had 
banished signs, the records of the Convention would 
testify against them, for it was distinctly acknowl- 
edged that " natural signs," " those which are used 
and understood by hearing persons," " might be em- 
ployed in the earlier stages of instruction." 

The writer recalls an incident which occurred dur- 
ing his boyhood, when a young Frenchman, just ar- 
rived in this country and quite ignorant of English, 
visited his father's house. This young man had 
never before seen a deaf-mute, but on meeting the 
mother of the family, who was a mute, he at once 
began talking with her by signs, and continued con- 
versation for more than an hour on a great variety 
of subjects, making, of course, only such signs as are 
" used and understood by hearing persons." 

It is well known that the signs in use among the 
Indians of North America, who are certainly " hear- 
ing persons," cover a wide range of ideas. 

But it is unnecessary to pursue the subject fur- 
ther to show that the so-called " pure oral method," 
exists only in name. We are not done, however, 
with the inconsistencies of some of its prominent sup- 

None of the delegates at Milan were more earnest 
advocates of the " pure oral method " than Mr. Ar- 
thur A. Kinsey, who was kind enough to present the 
writer with a copy of the paper he had prepared for 
the Milan Convention,* from which we quote the 
following : 

" Before proceeding further, I should propose to 
classify those for whom we are laboring according 
to their physical and mental condition. I shall ask 
your consent to placing the simply deaf on the one 
side, and those deaf and otherwise afflicted on the 
other : in this latter class I include those suffering 
from defective brain power, imperfect vision, extreme 
constitutional weakness, or serious malformation of 
the vocal and articulating organs. 

" The first division it is proposed to instruct on 
the ' German ' system ; the second on (he ' French? 
[The italics are ours.] 

" At the present time the special schools in Ger- 
many do not reject those suffering other serious ail- 
ments in addition to deafness. All the deaf are ad- 
mitted to the advantages of instruction, regardless 
of other defect being unhappily present. 

" But the question which I desire to present to 
you is — Should this continue ? 

" Where time, money, and teaching power are lim- 
ited, where pupils are in excess of school accommo- 
dation at the special institutions, would it not be 
wiser to teach those merely deaf upon the ' German ' 
system, —those who would really profit by such in- 
struction and put it to real practical and valuable 
use in after-life, — than to keep back such pupils for 

♦See preceding column. 


Exhibit to Queby 13,427. 

the sake of doubly afflicted ones, who, despite all 
effort and skill, would only be advanced to a certain 
attainment in spoken language of trifling andmont 
uncertain value. [Again the italics are ours.] * * 

" The children that this method [the German] is 
incompetent to deal with should be cared for by 
other means not requiring so much capability on the 
part of the afflicted." 

If we may be pardoned for the use of a little slang, 
we will venture the opinion that few instances are 
to be met with of a more complete " give-away " of 
one's self than the foregoing. Consistent pure oral- 
ist ! in the Convention he votes and shouts for " la 
methode or ale pure,'' 1 and then submits a paper in 
which it is proposed to establish and maintain 
schools on the " French " or " sign " method, in 
which it is acknowledged that there are certain deaf- 
mutes with whom the " German " method is " in- 
competent to deal," and who, under it, "despite 
all effort and skill, wo"uld only be advanced to a cer- 
tain attainment in spoken language of trifling and 
most uncertain value." We beg to call the atten- 
tion of the London Times to this record, and to sug- 
gest that if Mr. Kinsey is to be taken as a specimen 
" pure oralist," there may be something unreliable 
in the declarations of that " representative body " 
" which at Milan has declared for oral teaching for 
the deaf, and for nothing but oral teaching." But 
we forgive Mr. Kinsey his inconsistencies, and gladly 
take him on his record, and extend to him the right 
hand of fellowship. Far from being a " pure oral- 
ist," he is plainly in favor of a " combined system " 
— a system which welcomes every practicable means 
of advancing and perfecting the education of all the 
deaf and dumb ; a system which approves of the 
establishment of schools in which the oral method 
may be employed, provided that at the same time 
other schools can be maintained for the benefit of 
those who are incapable of success in speech ; a sys- 
tem which is in operation to-day in New England, 
with its oral schools at Northampton, Boston, 
Portland, Providence, and Mystic ; with the large 
and well-known institution at Hartford, where the 
sign method is still employed with excellent re- 

Lest some of Mr. Kinsey's friends should think 
we are too fast in placing him where we do, we will 
consider for a moment, before passing to other mat- 
ters, just how much is involved in his division of 
deaf-mutes into two classes, as quoted above. 

In this he displays more far-sightedness than we 
had given him credit for, and we cannot but admire 
the discretion with which he leaves an open door, 
and by no means a narrow one, for the convenient 
exit of those with whom the " German " method is 
found to be " incompetent to deal." 

" Defective brain power ;" most happily chosen 
expression! For it is applicable to imperfect or 
weak memory, lack of the imitative faculty, slowness 
of apprehension, nervousness, and a score of other 
conditions familiar to those who have had to do 
with deaf-mutes. "Imperfect vision," including 
" near-sightedness," " far-sightedness," and other 
abnormal states of the visual organs (common 
among deaf-mutes), which would stand in the way 
of success in artificial speech, for this is an achieve- 
ment of the eye no less than of the vocal organs. 
" Constitutional weakness " would furnish a very 
considerable percentage of the whole number to be 
educated, and we drop the word " extreme," for 
surely a predisposition to colds, sore-throat, and 
catarrhal affections operates seriously against the 
attainment of speech by deaf-mutes. And when we 
add those suffering from " serious malformation of 
the vocal or articulating organs," we have an aggre- 
gate sufficiently large to call for not a few of the 
" French method " schools Mr. Kinsey so wisely 

But enough has been said to show that the ex- 
pressed views of prominent " pure oralists " in the 
Milan Convention are inconsistent with the " decla- 
rations " for which they voted. We will now en- 
deavor to make it apparent that these declarations 
are based on unsound premises. 

Taking into account the whole body of deaf-mutes, 
and the time and money that is available for their 
education, it is not true that the method based on 
speech has an " incontestable superiority " over that 
based on signs. 

And first of all; for that class with which, on the 
authority of Mr. Kinsey, the " German method is 
incompetent to deal," the boot is quite on the other 
leg. As to the proportion indicated by this class 
opinions differ, but in the judgment of some of the 
ablest instructors of articulation in Europe it out- 
numbers the other with whom success in speech is 

As to the " incontestable superiority " of speech 
even for these, all depends on the environment. 
Given ample funds, implying a large proportion of 
teachers, and ample time, implying a long term of 
school training, the superiority of " speech " is ad- 
mitted. On the other hand, with a period of teach- 
ing restricted to four or five years, and funds so 
limited that but one teacher to twenty or more 
pupils can be allowed, then we do not hesitate to 
claim that results of greater practical value to the 
deaf-mute have been reached and will hereafter be 
attained under the method of de l'Epee than under 
that of Heinicke. 

A short time since the writer met for the first 
time a deaf-mute of about forty years of age, a 
resident of Natick, Mass. He communicated with 
us by signs, through the use of the manual alpha 
bet, and by writing. He had never learned to speak. 

What followed may be taken as a fair sample of 
this deaf-mute's ability to use his vernacular, while 
the facts brought out will, give some idea as to his 
success and pleasure in mingling with those who 
hear and sjpeak. In presenting the following ques- 
tions and receiving the answers writing was the sole 
medium of communication : 

" Were you born deaf?" 

" Yes, sir ; I was born deaf and dumb. I can 
hear loud whistle of an engine plainly." 

" How many years were you at the Hartford In- 
stitution, and in what year did you leave school ?" 

" Six years. I was nine years old when I went 
to school ; 1847 ; left there in 1853 ; before I went 
to school my mother learned me the finger-alphabet 
and many words, and also learned to write. Mrs. 
Vice-President Henry Wilson was my school-mate." 

" How have you been employed since you left 
school ?" 

" When I left school, farming with my brother 
seven years ; left it on account of hard work. I 
went into a shoe manufactory, where I have been 
employed eighteen years, and am still at work." 

" Have you had any difficulty in earning enough 
to support yourself ?" 

" No, sir ; I have not had any difficulty in earning 
enough to support myself since I left school. Now 
I am in very comfortable circumstances, and will be 
able to support myself as long as I live. My wages 
in the shop are good." 

" Have you made many friends among hearing and 
speaking people *" 

" Yes, sir ; a great many. I enjoy associating with 
them very much. They are very good and kind to 


" How have you conversed with these friends f ' 
"By writing, and one and two-hand alphabet." 
" How many persons have learned the finger al- 
phabet, so as to be able to talk with you T" 

"A good many. I cannot count them. They 
enjoy talking with me very much. Very often they 

Exhibit to Query 13,427. 


tell me what they are speaking with the others and 
what the others say." 

" When a train of thought passes through your 
mind, do your ideas take shape in signs or in 

" In words always, since that is the way in which 
my ideas are expressed." 

That among the graduates of the deaf-mute 
schools of this country large numbers may be found 
who have been equally successful in making their 
way in the world, equally happy in their relations 
with hearing people, and equally correct in their 
use of language with the person just alluded to, is 
too well known to be successfully disputed. 

Now, if the person above described could have 
had his term of study extended fifty per cent., and 
could have acquired speech and lip-reading, in addi- 
tion to what he secured at Hartford, he would, of 
course, have been the gainer. But with his school- 
term limited to six years, with, perhaps, only a sec- 
ond or third rate ability to acquire speech, necessi- 
tating the devotion of the greater part of his time 
to speech alone, we do not hesitate to claim the 
" incontestable superiority," in his case, for the 
method based on signs. And what is true in this 
instance will apply in many others. 

We now desire to direct attention to a few glar- 
ing misstatements to be found in papers presented 
to the Convention by some of the English delegates, 
giving evidence of a degree of ignorance or careless- 
ness on their part which, if it is to be taken as an 
index of their general method of investigation, will 
readily account for this greatest of all blunders in 
ascribing an incontestable superiority to the method 
of speech over that based on signs in the general 
education of the deaf. 

Towards the close of Miss Hull's paper we find 
the following : 

" When we look at the home life, the social life, 
and, above all, the religious life of the deaf, at how 
much greater advantage are those who can freely 
converse with others by speech and lip-reading, com- 
pared with the disciples of the sign-language, who 
must necessarily confine their intercourse within a 
circle — the limited circle — of those who have learned 
the same mode of converse with themselves." 

The reader of this paragraph is plainly left to infer 
that a deaf-mute, educated without speech, has no 
means of holding intercourse with his fellow-men 
save through the use of the language of signs. We 
beg to inform Miss Hull that deaf-mutes taught on 
the " sign method " learn to read and write ; that 
they often carry on extended conversations with 
hearing people in writing ; moreover, that they have 
in the manual alphabet a means of communication 
easily and very frequently acquired by their hearing 
friends, which is in many particulars, and under 
many circumstances, a much more satisfactory me- 
dium of conversation than speech and lip-reading. 

In the paper presented by Mr. Ackers the follow- 
ing will be found on page 8 : 

" The contrast was most marked between those 
taught under the ' German ' system, with whom we 
conversed by word of mouth, and those who had 
been taught under the ' French ' system, unable to 
converse with us who were unacquainted with signs 
and the manual alphabet, and whose attempts at 
writing were most difficult, and in many cases im- 
possible to understand owing to the language of 
their country being to them a foreign language. 
That the language of their country will be ever thus, 
even to the most highly educated, will be admitted 
by even the staunchest supporters of those systems. 
Dr. E. M. Gallaudet acknowledged this to me, and 
said that I might mention that even one so highly 
gifted by nature and education as his own mother 
never, even in later years, could be said to have lost 
in her writings all ' deaf-mutisms.' " 

To those who are at all familiar with educated 
deaf-mutes in this country it will not be necessary 
to say anything in reply to the misstatements con- 
tained in the above paragraph. But for the benefit 
of the general reader we will state that we know of no 
even moderately staunch supporter of the 'French' 
method who admits that the language of their coun- 
try ever remains as a foreign language to the most 
highly educated of the deaf and dumb taught under 
that method ; that thousands of deaf-mutes in this 
country have a fair mastery of verbal language, though 
they remain dumb ; that the writer's mother, far 
from being " highly gifted by education," had the 
misfortune to have reached adult years before the 
first school for mutes in this country was opened, 
and enjoyed only three years of instruction ; that 
she, in spite of these disadvantages, gained so good 
a command of the language of her country as to be 
able to sustain a voluminous correspondence with 
members of her family and others, even into extreme 
old age, never experiencing any difficulty in express- 
ing her ideas in verbal language, which, if not al- 
ways correct, was usually so, and was certainly more 
free from errors than that of many hearing persons 
who have enjoyed far greater educational advan- 
tages than were hers. 

We venture to promise our friend Mr. Ackers, 
whose disinterested and generous labors in the cause 
of deaf-mute instruction command our warmest ad- 
miration, that on the occasion of his next visit to 
America we will place him in communication with 
educated deaf-mutes whose attainments in verbal 
language will greatly modify his present views as to 
the possible results of the " French " method of in- 

In Mr. Kinsey's paper we find the following on 
page 22 : 

" These remarks are addressed, not at my ' Ger- 
man system ' brothers, but at those engaged on other 
methods in my mind far less satisfactory, and I 
think are not uncalled for, when I remember the 
words addressed by the head of a National College 
for the Deaf and Dumb, viz., that he ' had felt diffi- 
dent about conferring a degree on a young man upon 
his graduating who was not competent to construct 
a grammatically correct sentence in his own native 
language.' " 

We will not say that the above is an intentional 
misrepresentation, but we will say that it is entirely 
an unwarrantable statement. What we did " ad- 
dress " to Mr. Kinsey on the occasion alluded to was, 
that in a certain instance we hesitated to confer a 
degree on a young man who, while he had sustained 
all the examinations required for his degree, was 
not always able to use his vernacular correctly. And 
Mr. Kinsey does not need to be informed that among 
the hearing and speaking graduates of colleges, both 
in England and America, there are to be found those 
who are not always faultless in their use of their 
" own native language." 

Perhaps the most glaring evidence of a lack of 
knowledge of the subject with which one was at- 
tempting to deal is found in an utterance of the 
President of the Convention, the Abbe Tarra, whose 
professional reputation is that of a master of the 
sign method, which he once taught, as well as of the 
oral, of which he was the high-priest and apostle at 

He closed his oration in favor of the pure oral 
method as follows : 

" Speech is addressed to the intellect, while gest- 
ures speak coarsely to the senses. I used signs for 
many years in my religious teaching, but decided 
definitely to give them up and adopt the pure oral 
system, because I am convinced that my pupils, in- 
stead of understanding the abstract ideas I intended 
to convey to them, were only placed in possession 
of grossly material images." 


Exhibit to Queby 13,427. 

Nothing more than this is needed to stamp the 
Abbe Tarra, in the minds of accomplished instruc- 
tors of the deaf under the sign method in this coun- 
try, as a mere tyro in the use of the language of 
signs. For every master of that language knows 
how completely it may be made to convey and clearly 
express the highest religious and moral truths and 

The limits we have assigned ourselves in this ar- 
ticle will not allow the insertion of a number of 
points we have in mind quite pertinent to the gen- 

eral line of thought suggested by the proceedings 
of the Convention, and we can only express the hope, 
in closing, that, in spite of the little value to be at- 
tached to the so-called conclusions, good results may 
flow from the meeting, in an increased interest to- 
wards deaf-mutes throughout Europe. And we be- 
lieve that the sober second thought of many, even, 
who were carried away by the enthusiasm of the 
hour at Milan, and so were led to vote for impracti- 
cable and even impossible things, will deter them 
from attempting manifest absurdities. 

In addition to the foregoing exhibits, the books and pamplets named in the three following exhibits 
were presented by President Gallaudet to the Royal Commission : 


Exhibit to Queby 13,266. 

[This Exhibit consisted of copies of the proceedings of the following Conventions and Conferences :] 

First Convention of American Instructors of the 

Deaf, New York, 1850. 
Second Convention of American Instructors of the 

Deaf, Hartford, Conn., 1851. 
Third Convention of American Instructors of the 

Deaf, Columbus, Ohio, 1853. 
Fourth Convention of American Instructors of the 

Deaf, Staunton, Va , 1856. 
Fifth Convention of American Instructors of the 

Deaf, Jacksonville, 111., 1858. 
Sixth Convention of American Instructors of the 

Deaf. [See First Conference of Principals.] 
Seventh Convention of American Instructors of the 

Deaf, Indianapolis, Ind., 1870. 

Eighth Convention of American Instructors of the 

Deaf, Belleville, Ont., 1874. 
Ninth Convention of American Instructors of the 

Deaf, Columbus, O., 1878. 
Tenth Convention of American Instructors of the 

Deaf, Jacksonville, 111., 1882. 
First Conference of Principals (counted also as the 

Sixth Convention), Washington, D. C, 1868. 
Second Conference of Principals, Flint, Mich., 1872. 
Third Conference of Principals, Philadelphia, Pa., 

Fourth Conference of Principals, Northampton, 

Mass., 1880. 
Fifth Conference of Principals, Faribault, Minn.,1884. 

Exhibit to Qceby 13,271. 


[This Exhibit consisted of thirty-one volumes of the American Annals of the Deaf, constituting a 
complete set up to the end of 1866. These volumes were presented to the Royal Commission on behalf 
of the New York Institution and the Institution at Washington.] 

Exhibit to Queby 13,272. 


[This Exhibit consisted of the following reports of American Schools for the Deaf :] 

The Institutions at Hartford, New York, Columbus, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Washington 
with catalogues of the College at Washington. ' 


Evidence of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, with 
accompanying Exhibits. 


6, Old Palace Yard, S.W., London. 

Thursday, 14th June, 1888. 

Present : 
The Eight Hon. the LOED EGEETON OF TATTON in the Chair. 

Sir Tindal Bobertson, M.P. 
B. St. John Ackers, Esq 
T. E. Armitage, Esq., M.D. 
F. J. Campbell, Esq., LL.D. 
Edmund C. Johnson, Esq. 

Eobert McDonnell, Esq., M.D., F.E.S. 
William Woodall, Esq., M.P. 
The Eev. W. Blomefield Sleight, M.A. 
The Eev. Charles Mansfield Owen, M.A. 
L. Van Oven, Esq. 

Charles E. D. Black, Esq., 

Mr. A. Graham Bell (Washington) examined. 

21.355. {Chairman.) You are well known to have 
taken a great interest in the education and general 
condition of the deaf. I think you have before you 
President Gallaudet's evidence before this Commis- 
sion with regard to the education of the deaf and 
dumb in the United States. Is there anything in 
what he says with regard to the education of the deaf 
and dumb in America that you would like to supple- 
ment or to make any remark on ? — There are a few 
points which I should like to enlarge upon a little, 
in which I think Dr. Gallaudet has been misled, in 
relation to the statistics of the deaf and dumb as 
given in the census of 1880 : which is the best 
census we have had taken in the United States. It 
was well known to Dr. Gallaudet, and to the other 
superintendents and principals of American institu- 
tions, that many deaf mutes were reported twice, 
once from the institution where they were receiving 
instruction, and once from their homes. Then there 
were numerous cases of persons who were reported 
as deaf mutes who became deaf at 80 years of age 
and 40 years of age, and so a good many of the 
principals and superintendents may have formed an 
idea that the census of 1880 is unreliable, and that 
the numbers of deaf mutes are as much overstated 
in that census as they were understated in the 
former census ; they have a right to have that be- 
lief, but I am in a position to show that they are 
wrong and that the census of 1880 is very reliable. 

21.356. You are now referring to Dr. Gallaudet's 
answer to question 13,105, in which he says .- " It 
" may be taken that the ratio before 1880 was too 
" small, and it may be presumed that one in 1,800 
"would represent accurately the proportion?" — 

21.357. You wish to make some remarks with 
reference to that statement ? — Yes ; of course it is 
not improbable that there may be duplicates in the 
returns obtained in 1880, but to my personal knowl- 
edge very great efforts were made by the census 
commission to eliminate all those duplicates, and to 
eliminate all cases where the persons reported had 
become deaf in adult life ; certainly there could be 
no such error as would change the proportion of 
the deaf and dumb from one in 1,480 of the popula- 
tion to one in 1,800. According to Dr. Gallaudet's 
assumption the number of deaf mutes in the country 
on the 1st of June, 1880, would be 27,864, that is 
one in 1,800 of the population, instead of 33,878, as 
given in the last census, the difference being 6,014 
duplicates — that is to say, between one-fifth and one- 
sixth of the whole number. The actual number 
given in -the census is 33,878, that is one deaf mute 
in 1,480 of the population. Dr. Gallaudet assumes 
that there is one deaf mute in 1,800 of the popu- 
lation, and if you make the calculation on the 
whole population of the country, which is 50,- 
155,783, you will find that that yields a resultant 
of 27,864, which is a difference of 6,014 cases that 
are attributed to duplicates. That is a very serious 
charge against our census, and on seeing this state- 

ment I immediately telegraphed to the Eev.Frederick Mr. 
Wines, who has charge of this department of the A - G - Seli ' 
census, telling him that the accuracy of the United 14 June 188 g 

States census had been attacked before the Commis- 

sion on account of duplicates, and asking from him 
a reply to present to the Commission. I received 
the reply just before starting, and it is as follows: — 
'• Springfield, May 28th, 1888. My dear Sir,— I 
" thank you most sincerely for your kindness in in- 
" forming me by telegraph that the accuracy of the 
" last census relating to deaf mutes has been attacked 
" before the Eoyal Commission. It is the first that 
" I have heard of it, and it is rather difficult to know 
" how to answer an attack which one has not seen. 
" No census that has been taken, in any country 
" since the world began, can claim to be free from 
" inaccuracy ; and no one knows this so well as the 
" census taker. But every census before thai of 
" 1880 has erred in the matter of the enumeration 
" of the deaf, on the side of omissions rather than 
" duplication of names. There are two ways in 
" which/ duplications may occur. First, a deaf mute 
" may be enumerated in the institution of which he 
" is a pupil and an inmate, and he may also be enu- 
" merated at the place where his family resides. Sec- 
" ond, it is possible that some physician, in reporting 
" to me the names of lunatics and idiots within the 
" sphere of his personal and professional knowl- 
" edge, may have reported a deaf mute also. But 
" the greatest possible pains were taken to purge 
" the list of all duplicates ; and, if any have remained 
" undetected, it has probably been owing to the mis- 
" spelling of names in cases where two different 
" spellings were possible. But the number of such du- 
" plications can in no event have been considerable. 
" A liberal estimate would not, I think, place it 
" above 100 in all, which, as you know, is scarcely 
" worthy of notice in an investigation of such mag- 
" nitude. And the duplications, granting that they « 
" exist (which I do not admit without proof, of which 
" none has been laid before me), are much more than 
" counterbalanced by the known omissions. If you 
" will look at the enumeration by age, you will per- 
" ceive that the number of deaf mutes returned 
'' under the age of five years is much less than it 
" must actually have been, as is especially evident 
" when attention is directed to the number of con- 
" genital deaf mutes. I have no doubt that, whatever 
" may have been said to the Eoyal Commission by 
" some person unknown to me, the number of deaf 
" mutes in the United States exceeds rather than 
' " falls below the number reported in the census. 
" If there is any subject which I should like to urge, 
" had I the opportunity to do so, before the Com- 
" mission, it would be the necessity of more liberal 
" provision for the training of the idiotic and feeble- 
" minded, who are less likely to be fully represented 
" before it, than either the deaf or the blind." I 
am in a position to support Mr. Wines in a remark- 
able manner. It so happens that I have had access 
to the original schedules of the census returns, and 


A. O. Bell. 

14 June 1888. 

I have noticed the pains and the care with which 
deaf mutes have been hunted up, hundreds and 
thousands of letters have been written to ascertain 
the accuracy of the returns: and for purposes of 
my own I have made a card catalogue of the deaf 
mutes in the United States ; the undertaking- was 
enormous, and is not completed yet : but for some 
months I have had in my possession, arranged in 
alphabetical order, the names of 23,969 deaf mutes 
from the census^ — that is nearly 24,000 — these have 
been copied on cards from the census returns, and 
then I have had them arranged in alphabetical order, 
so as to bring all the surnames together, and so as 
to examine cases where a large number of deaf mutes 
would appear of the same surname, so that if any 
considerable duplication existed — if between one- 
fifth and one-sixth of the total number were dupli- 
cates — I must have observed it. But there is a 
method of testing the figures by which you may 
judge for yourself. I happen to have in my posses- 
sion an official copy of the Returns of the deaf mutes 
of the six New England States, numbering 2,581. 
Now, if you come to look over those you will find, 
if Dr. Gallaudet is right, no less than 461 duplica- 
tions of names. I should be happy to place this be- 
fore the Commission for their examination {handing 
it in). It will, perhaps, be interesting also to you 
to examine the kind of material that has been col- 
lected ; but I must say that my study of the census 
returns has given me great confidence in the accu- 
racy of the 1880 census, and has led me to the con- 
clusion that a great deal of pains has been taken to 
eliminate dupicates and ascertain the truth. Mr. 
Wines, as you see in his letter, is of opinion that in- 
stead of the numbers of the deaf and dumb being 
over estimated in the 1880 census they were under 

21.358. That would generally be likely to be the 
case ? — Yes. He estimated that there were, in 1880, 
probably 35,000 deaf mutes in the United States in- 
stead of the actual number shown. Of course that 
is a matter of opinion. 

21.359. Have you any remarks to make on any 
other statement of Dr. Gallaudet ? — Of course there 
are many points on which I differ from Dr. Gallaudet, 
but those are chiefly differences of opinion. I should 
like to supplement Dr. Gallaudet's historical sketch 
of the" schools and the organisation of schools, given 
in answer to questions 13,111 and 13,112. I think 
his statements are very accurate, but I should 
like to say a few words on the policy of the 
States in dealing with their deaf and dumb, from the 
time when the instruction of that class began to be 
taken up by the Government. In 1815, when the 
first school was established, the number of deaf and 
dumb was not known ; they were supposed to be few 
in number and widely scattered through an enormous 
extent of country, and a policy was adopted, which I 
shall term a policy of centralisation — a policy to reach 
the deaf and dumb by taking them away from their 
homes and bringing them together into some central 
institution. The Federal Government made a grant 
of land to the American Asylum in order that this 
school might be a school for all the deaf and dumb of 
the United States, and there were many who seriously 
doubted whether there would be enough pupils to 
support a school. The plan of centralisation soon 
failed. The National School at Hartford could not 
accommodate a fraction of the number of the pupils 
who made their appearance. The State Governments 
then took action, and the plan that was then first 
adopted was the plan of centralisation in each State, 
and the attempt was made to bring into one school 
the deaf mutes of the State. But, as statistics re- 
garding the deaf became more accurate, these State 
institutions were found to be insufficient to accom- 
modate the deaf mutes', and a gradual splitting up 
of the large institutions has taken place. The cen- 
tral institution in New York has been split up into 
seven or eight distinct institutions, scattered in 
different parts of the State. We have now over 50 
State institutions. 

21.360. We were told that there are 67 ?— I can- 
not tell you the exact number without consulting 
my notes. I am speaking of the centralised institu- 
tions, but it was found that they were not enough 
to accommodate the deaf children who required in- 
struction, and another move toward decentralisation 
took place in the establishment of day schools in 
the large cities. We have now 69 institutions, in- 
cluding day schools and private schools. The Cen- 
sus returns of the United States of 1880 show that 
there were 15,059 deaf children of school age (that 
is to say, "from five years old to twenty"), and 
5,393 in all the institutions put together. I find on 
examining the census that the day schools are not 
taken into account, but the total number in the day 
schools is comparatively small. At all events, 
whatever the actual number of deaf children grow- 
ing up without instruction may be, it is evident that 
whatever allowance we may make, certainly we have 
as many deaf children of school age growing up 
without instruction as there are in all the schools 
and institutions in the United States put together. 
This, I think, has arisen largely from the policy 
adopted by the States, the policy of centralisation. 
Mothers will not part with their children except 
upon compulsion. In a country like ours the value 
of physical labour is so great as to prevent many 
children from being sent to school, especially in 
country districts. The whole plan of centralisation 
has failed to bring under instruction one-half of the 
deaf children of school age. When I came to ex- 
amine the statistics of each State, I found a similar 
condition of affairs in every State, showing that the 
fault is in the system, and is not remediable by any 
increase in the number of institutions. A certain 
per-centage of pupils will escape instruction. I 
have therefore urged the adoption of the policy of 
decentralisation to 4 bring schools as near to the 
homes of the children as possible ; to extend the day 
school plan, to supplement our institution plan by 
an enlarged development of day schools, acting upon 
the principle that the nearer the school can be 
brought to the home of the pupil, the less likelihood 
is there that he will escape instruction. Other rea- 
sons also urged me some years ago to advocate the 
policy of decentralisation, and I would supplement 
Dr. Gallaudet's testimony by pointing out to you how 
far that policy has been adopted in one particular 
State. It may be within the knowledge of the mem- 
bers of this Commission that a conference of teach- 
ers of the deaf met in the Senate Chamber at 
Madison, Wisconsin, to confer with the teachers of 
the hearing, at a meeting of the National Educa- 
tional Association. At that meeting I advocated 
the policy of decentralisation. Great interest was 
excited in Wisconsin, as a bill had been brought 
forward before the Wisconsin Legislature advocating 
the same thing. It was the first attempt to embody 
in a law the policy of decentralisation ; whether it 
will be successful or not I do not know. I am not 
a law maker, but I can see very clearly the princi- 
ple involved, and when the Committee of the Leg- 
islature invited me to visit Wisconsin and speak 
upon the subject of this Bill I did so, and embodied 
the substance of my remarks in an open letter, 
which was addressed to the members of the Legis- 
lature and Senate of Wisconsin, a copy of which I 
beg leave to present to the Commission, which will 
show you my views upon that subject {handing it 


21.361. {Mr. St. John Ackers.) What was the 
date of that meeting at Wisconsin ? — The meeting 
in Madison was July 16th, 1884 ; the date of the 
letter is February, 1885 ; the Bill passed on April 
15th, 1885, and it was amended on March 12th, 1887. 
I have printed copies of this Bill which I will hand 
in ; the printer, however, has placed the amendments 
before the Bill itself. 

21.362. {Chairman.) Is there any attendance 
officer in the United States to see that every child 
goes to school ? — Yes, in some cities. 

21.363. Not in the rural districts ? — I cannot 


speak with authority ; in Boston there are what are 
called truaDt officers. I have urged that there sbould 
be no law of compulsion, unless you can offer a 
choice between a day school and an institution. I 
recognise the right of the community to see that 
deaf children are educated, for uneducated they may 
be a danger to the community in which they live ; 
but I do not recognise the right of the community 
to take a child away from his own parents without 
their consent ; unless it can be clearly shown that 
his education necessitates removal from home ; but 
if the State could offer to the parent of a deaf child 
either an institution or a day school, then I could 
advocate compulsory education. In this Bill, to 
which I have directed your attention, the object has 
been to facilitate the giving of State aid to day 
schools. Hitherto the State has recognised only the 
central institution, and if parents want their chil- 
dren educated at home, or if they start a school and 
provide a teacher they do it out of their own pockets, 
and get no State aid. This Bill is to encourage the 
growth of these little schools, so that if there should 
be one parent of one deaf and dumb child he can 
have State aid to get a teacher ; such teacher being 
approved by the State superintendent of public 
instruction. He will get 100 dollars from the State 
Treasury through the machinery that has been 
provided. If he applies to the nearest school board 
and asks for a school for his deaf child the teacher 
will say yours is the only child, or there are only 
two or three, well the parent will say, if you can get 
this State aid of 300 dollars for these three chil- 
dren, I and the other parents will meet the balance 
required to pay the salary of a teacher. That is 
the idea. It is only an experiment ; it is a new de- 
parture, but I think it is an important departure. 
Immediately on the passing of the Bill a worthy 
private school that had been struggling along with- 
out recognition by the State, the Phonological Insti- 
tute at Milwaukee, at once received State aid, and 
became a public school under the public school 
system of Milwaukee. Two years ago another little 
school with six pupils started at Lacrosse in Wis- 
consin, under the provisions of this Bill, and I hope 
by degrees, as parents find the advantages that may 
be derived from these little schools, that the whole 
of the State of Wisconsin may be dotted over with 
little day schools around the central institution 
which will then be enough to accommodate all 
the children who cannot attend a day school. 

21.364. Are these schools conducted on the oral 
or the combined system 1 — The oral system. 

21.365. Those established in that State?— Those 
established in that State under the provisions of the 
Bill. The Central Institution is on the combined 
plan. The teachers in those new schools much 
prefer the teaching of articulation, but in the Bill 
there are no provisions with regard to the method 
of instruction. I do not advocate any restriction 
in regard to methods of instruction, nor did the 
promoters of the Bill. We are very much inclined 
to believe in America, with my friend Dr. Gallaudet, 
that diversity in methods is favourable to progress, 
but what we want is some superior power over the 
institutions and schools to collect statistics and test 
the results of instruction ; we have no such machin- 
ery. In Wisconsin we have a general superintend- 
ent, but generally throughout the State there is no 
general system of State inspection. 

21.366. That you advocate? — Yes. I would not 
impose my own ideas upon any school. I would 
not have one method of instruction if I could. I 
think that honest men differ, and that the proper 
way to test methods is by results, and there are no 
statistics extant by which we can test results. I go 
to the conventions of teachers of the deaf in America 
and listen to the discussions between the sign and 
manual and the oral teachers, and then I study his- 
torically what happened a hundred years ago. The 
same arguments and the same things are reproduced. 
The same arguments have been brought forward for 

a hundred years, and the questions raised have not 
been settled. The reason is we have no mechanism 
for testing methods of instruction by results. I 
would urge upon this Commission the importance 
of devising and bringing into operation some practi- 
cal method of testing by results, and getting statis- 
tics relating to adult deaf and dumb to show the 
influence of methods of education on their after life. 
I would not have you put any restriction on meth- 
ods, diversity is favourable, but I would have you 
avoid centralisation. We have found another evil 
to spring from centralisation in America, a central- 
ised institution in a great State becomes oppressive ; 
an established method of instruction, like an estab- 
lished religion, becomes intolerant, it crushes out 
the little schools that appear round about it. And, 
by-the-bye, in that connexion I would like to direct 
your attention to what Dr. Gallaudet says in answer 
to question 13,131. He says " For all practical pur- 
" poses the private schools are hardly worth con- 
" sidering." Lsay they are. Therejs a great lesson 
to be learnt from private schools. The existence 
of private schools in a country like ours, where the 
States are munificent in their benefactions to the 
deaf and dumb, is an anomaly. Why do these pri- 
vate schools exist ? They express the existence of 
grave dissatisfaction with the institutions — that is 
their significance — and when you come to examine 
the statistics of those private schools you will find 
that they are of two classes, one purely religious 
and the other purely oral. 

21.367. You mean the dissatisfaction is partly on 
religious grounds and partly with regard to not 
teaching speech ? — Yes, and tne day schools also are 
expressive of dissatisfaction with the life in the insti- 
tution. As you examine the statistics of these private 
schools another thing becomes significant, they keep 
changing. A little school starts up and then it will 
go out of the list of private schools and become a State 
institution. It struggles along for a short period in 
adversity, because it cannot get the recognition of 
the State ; it cannot at first get State aid, and then 
when it gets State aid it goes out of the list of private 
schools, so they always seem to be small in number. 
There are several States in which day schools have 
been established in the large centres of population, 
supported partly by the State and partly by the cities 
in which they are established ; but the effect of this 
Bill that was passed in the Wisconsin Legislature will 
be to push the day school system into the rural dis- 
tricts, and into the smaller districts of the country, 
where only a few children can be brought together. 
The expense of the education of a deaf child at an 
institution is so great as to render it a matter of 
economy to the State to send a teacher wherever you 
can have four or five deaf children brought together 
rather than take them to an institution. 

21.368. (Mr. Woodall.) There is nothing to pre- 
vent any municipality under the public school system 
establishing a day school for the deaf and dumb ? — 
Nothing except the expense, and that does prevent 
the establishment of such schools except in the large 

21.369. (Chairman.) In answer to question 13,115, 
Dr. Gallaudet says, " There are day schools in about 
" six or seven cities, and the next question is have 
" they any endowments ? " To which his answer is, 
" Some of them have endowments, two or three." 
Therefore, it is a very small number which have 
endowments. Practically, with the exception of 
Wisconsin and these two or three day schools, they 
are not generally recognised or subsidised by the 
State ? — I do not know ; these private schools, as I 
say, are significant ; the policy of centralisation has 
rendered it necessary for the institutions to give 
religious instruction to their pupils. It is true this 
is done in a very guarded and a very proper way, 
but still that has led to. the dissatisfaction and the 
establishment of denominational schools, chiefly 
Boman Catholic, these are chiefly, I think, upon the 
sign system. 

A. G. Bell. 

14 June 1888. 


Mr. 21,370. In answer to question 13,128, Dr. Gal- 

A. Q. Bell. l au d e t says : " It is the rule to give religious instruc- 

14 June 1888 " ^ on ^° a ver 7 8 % n t extent, hardly more than the 

' " reading of the Bible and a prayer, and in some 

" schools not even that is given." Does that apply 
generally to schools in which the deaf and dumb 
are taught? — I think that it does. There are some 
parents that object to that, and others say it is not 

21.371. Some parents object to any religious in- 
struction being given at all ? — Some object to any 
religious instruction being given at all, and others 
wish it to be given according to their own creed or 
denomination, and so we have a number of denomi- 
tional schools that appear among the private schools, 
for those are generally not recognised by the State, 
excepting in the State of New York. The private 
schools (other than denominational) are exclusively 
oral, and the meaning of that is that there are cer- 
tain parents and persons dissatisfied with the in- 
struction given in the institutions, and they would 
rather pay for the instruction of their children by 
the oral method than send them free of charge 
where their speech is not attended to — that is the 
significance of it. So I do not agree with Dr. Gal- 
laudet in thinking that these schools are hardly 
worth considering. In fact these private schools 
have effected a great reformation in the United 
States. They represent a germ of life, a very little 
hing in itself, but it keeps pushing and growing. 
Every now and then one of the little schools will 
become an institution. The teachers in these oral 
schools, who are nearly all ladies, who hardly ever 
venture to express an opinion in public, have worked 
quietly and silently and the establishment of those 
schools has effected a great reformation. They 
have forced the institutions to give attention to 

21.372. From Dr. Gallaudet's evidence generally 
I think we should form the impression that com- 
bined schools are in the majority in America — 
your evidence rather tends to show that there is a 
wish for more instruction in speech such as is given 
in the pure oral schools? — Yes, that is my reasoning 
on the subject. I may be wrong. 

21.373. There is a dissatisfaction with the State 
schools and that shows itself by the formation of 
these private schools ? — Yes. 

21.374. Dr. Gallaudet says that the present feel- 
ing is in favour of adding the oral system to the sign 
system, which means the combined system. You 
say that the establishment of these private oral 
schools shows that there is an inclination to go still 
further, and to give more instruction in speech than 
is given in the combined schools? — Yes ; and as 
these private oral schools increase in size and show 
successful results, the institutions become alarmed 
and immediately commence to teach speech to a 
portion of their pupils, so I look upon these private 
oral schools as a lever which is enforcing greater and 
greater attention to the teaching of speech and speech 
reading in our institutions, but I cannot follow Dr. 
Gallaudet in his classification of methods. I do not 
recognise any combined method or system, and I 
notice that the very institution that he brings for- 
ward as a typical combined institution — the Penn- 
sylvania Institution — discards the idea ; this shows 
the vagueness with which the term is used. In 
answer to question 13,141, speaking of the Pennsyl- 
vania Institution, which is undoubtedly one of the 
finest of our institutions, and is doing real good 
honest work in all branches of education, oral and 
otherwise, he says: — "The system of which we 
" speak in America as the ' combined system,' is one 
" which allows of the bringing together of all meth- 
" ods under varying conditions. For example, the 
" Philadelphia Institution has a separate oral branch 
" in which pupils who are found to succeed well in 
" speech are taught on what would be termed here 
" in England the pure oral method. This, which 
" was started as a manual school, is now conducted 

" under what is called the combined system." In a 
note which the principal of this institution has sent 
to me occurs this statement : " The combined system 
" has no place in our school at present." I have no 
doubt it is a combined system in the mind of Dr. 
Gallaudet, but it shows the vagueness with which 
the term is used, that the principal of that very in- 
stitution uses that language. I think it is very 
important that we should consider the proper class- 
ification not only of the methods of instruction, but 
of the deaf. I agree with Dr. Gallaudet that the 
Philadelphia Institution is a model institution ; there 
is no dispute as to what is done, but one terms it an 
institution on the combined system and the other 
does not. I may as well say here that before I left 
America I was anxious to present before the Royal 
Commission a picture of the condition of the edu- 
cation of the deaf and dumb in America, and to 
give to you the views' of the principals and su- 
perintendents themselves upon the questions in 
which you are interested. I therefore directed 
a circular letter to the principals and superintend- 
ents of all the institutions and day schools and 
private schools in America, including Canada, and 
I have received replies from 58, and the mass of 
material collected is very valuable. I was in hopes 
to have been able to present to you this testimony 
in printed form at least a day before my own exam- 
ination. On account of the shortness of time I have 
been unable to do so, but by the kindness of Messrs. 
Spottiswoode I have been able to get the greater 
portion of it in print in the shape of proof. Messrs. 
Spottiswoode have set their whole establishment to 
work upon it, and I am able to hand to you the 
answers to some of the questions (handing in the 
same). This is what Principal Crouter says of his 
own institution: "The combined system has no 
" place in our school at present. Our pupils are 
" taught either orally or manually." And then, in 
answer to another question, he says : "I believe 
" in oral instruction (separate oral) for all deaf 
" children who can be successfully instructed by 
" that method, and in sign instruction for those who 
" cannot. " There is one other point of fact in Dr. 
Gallaudet's testimony to which I should like to refer. 
In answer to question 13,139 he states : — " A very 
" large majority of the leading schools are carrying 
" on the combined system. That means that in a 
" large majority of the public schools speech is taught 
" to as great a number of pupils as it is found pos- 
" sible to teach with success ; that is the policy in 
" these combined system schools." I know that 
this is not done, whatever the policy may be. 

21.375. (Dr. Campbell.) When he says " public 
schools," does he refer to ordinary public schools ? — 
I think that he is referring to all the institutions and 
schools that are supported by the State or the city. 

21.376. Probably when Dr.Gallaudet was speaking 
of the combined system being taught at the Philadel- 
phia Institution he meant that the pupils there were 
taught by either system, not that each pupil was 
taught both orally and by the sign system, that may 
be so ? — Yes, it is either one or the other that is 
taught at that institution, but not both combined. 
I have here a tabular statement showing the amount 
of teaching of articulation in the United States in 
May 1883. Out of 6,232 pupils in the United 
States, 1,991, or 31-9 per cent., were taught articula- 
tion, and 4,241, or 68*1 per cent., had no instruction 
whatever in speech. 

21.377. Upon that I would ask you this : Do you 
think that 68 per cent, of the deaf and dumb in 
America could not be taught articulation? — Un- 
doubtedly not ; they could all be taught articulation. 
I do not think they could all be taught to read from 
the mouth. 

21.378. Are those 6,232 under instruction at the 
present time ?— No, this refers to May 1883. 

21.379. There was an increase between 1880 and 
1883 from 5,393 to 6,232 ?— Yes ; those were not all ; 
this information was obtained through a circular let- 


ter of inquiry directed to the principals of the insti- 
tutions by the principal of the Clarke Institution at 
Northampton. Here are the full results of that in- 
quiry (funding in the table). In looking at the 
totals you will find that 6,232 was the total number 
and 1,991 was the number taught articulation. 
Then discriminating those who were taught orally 
from those who used articulation simply as an ac- 
complishment, who had instruction for an hour or 
half an hour a day, we find that the number orally 
taught was 886, or 14 per cent. ; 1,105, or 18 per 
cent., were taught speech as an accomplishment, 
making no use of it in the schoolroom ; and 4,241, 
or 68 per cent., received no instruction whatever in 
articulation ; that is in 1883. The total number of 
pupils under instruction in 1883 was 7,169, and of 
these 6,232 were reported to the Clarke Institution. 
21,380. Since that time have you reason to believe 
that the number of pupils receiving oral instruction 
had increased?— In 1884 out of 6,228 pupils, 2,041 
or 32-8 per cent, were taught articulation, which is 
an increase, and 4,187 or 67*2 per cent, were not. 
In 1885 out of 6,780 pupils, 2,618 or 38-6 per cent, 
were taught articulation ; that is an increase again ; 
and 4,162 or 614 per cent were not. In 1886 out 
of 6,596 pupils, 2,484 or 35 -7 per cent, were taught 
articulation, that is a decrease, and 4,472 or 64*3 per 
cent, were not. In 1887, this is the year that Dr. 
Gallaudet speaks to, out of 6,862 pupils, 2,556 or 
37-2 per cent, were taught articulation, and 4,306 or 
62-8 per cent, were not taught speech at all.* 



A. G. Bell. 

14 June 1888. 

Amount of Hearing Power. 

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 





1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 
















































i i 

The Deaf. 

Period of Life when Deafness 




From birth or infancy (i. e. , less than 
2 years of age). 



From early childhood (». e. , 2 years 
and less than 5). 



From late childhood (*'. e., 5 years 
and less than 14). 



From youth (*. «., 14 years and less 
than 21). 



'"For amended reply see queries 21,496 and 21,497. 

21.381. (Dr. Campbell.) In regard to that year 
when there was a falling off, do you know what the 
cause of it was? — I do not know the cause. We 
might analyse the statistics and discover the cause, 
but I have not gone sufficiently into them to do so. 

21.382. (Chairman.) Your opinion is, that all 
those that could be taught to speak at all could be 
taught to speak orally, even if they could not be 
taught to lip read ? — Undoubtedly. I am too famil- 
iar with the mechanical nature of speech to doubt 
it for a moment. 

21.383. With regard to the classification of the 
deaf, have you any suggestions to make? — I am 
very much dissatisfied with all the classifications I 
have seen. They seem to me to be based upon an 
inconstant quality, the character of the speech 
(which can be modified by instruction). We classify 
the deaf according to the amount of muteness, and 
that amount of muteness can be remedied by in- 
struction. It leads to a false classification, as false 
as if we were to classify them by the amount of 
ignorance, which is also remediable. I would sug- 
gest a natural classification of the deaf. It is now 
universally recognised that those whom we term 
deaf mutes are simply persons who are deaf from 
childhood ; that the natural defect is, a single defect 
and not a double one, and muteness or dumbness is 
the result of the natural defect and not a defect in 
itself. I would classify pupils by the natural defect 
alone, and there are only two elements to be deter- 
mined which would completely define, as it were by 
means of lines of latitude and longitude, the position 
of a deaf child in the whole mass of the deaf. These 
two elements to be determined are (1) the age or 
period of life at which the deafness occurred, and 
(2) the amount of the defect. If we say that a child 
became totally deaf at five it is understood what 
that means. We do not require to say that he is a 
semi-mute — that is the resultant — and if we say a 
child was born deaf we know that the mental condi- 
tion must be entirely different. In America we 
measure the amount of hearing power of a child, so 
that we can say that a child has a hearing power of 
10, 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60. Let us represent that by 
vertical lines, the lines of longitude of our map, and 
represent the age at which the deafness occurred by 
horizontal lines or lines of latitude upon the map, 
then we completely define on that map the position 
of any deaf person. If you do not measure pre- 
cisely the amount of hearing power you may 
measure it roughly. You may divide the deaf 
into two great classes, which you may term the 
totally deaf and the semi-deaf — those who have not 
a sufficient amount of hearing to perceive the differ- 
ence of vocal sounds and those who have. Then, 
again, if you did not know the precise age at which 
a child became deaf you could classify roughly by 
periods. For instance, you might put in one class 


A. G. Bell. 

U June 1888, 

all those who had been deaf from birth or infancy, 
i. e., those who had become deaf under the age of two 
years. Then those who had become deaf between 
two and five might constitute the " deaf from early 
childhood," and those who became deaf from five to 
the age of puberty the " deaf from late childhood," 
and above that the " deaf from youth," and if you 
followed that classification you would divide the 
deaf into eight groups, each group having marked 
characteristics of its own. I would recommend to 
the serious attention of the Commissioners some 
natural classification of the deaf under those two 
heads, the amount of the defect and the age or 
period at which the deafness occurred t Another 
point is important, how is it that we fail to discover 
so many of the little deaf children we desire to bring 
under instruction? Their parents will not call them 
deaf mutes. For instance, a child becomes deaf 
from scarlet fever, at the age of 4£. The census 
taker comes along and says, " Are there any deaf 
"mutes in this house?" The parent says "No." 
But suppose the census taker asked if there were 
any persons in the house who were deaf or hard of 
hearing, the answer would be " Yes, my child can- 
" not hear since he had the scarlet fever." Then if 
the census taker said " At what age did the deafness 
" occur?" The answer would be "4^ years." I 
would recommend that such questions as those 
should be asked by your census takers when they 
take the next census. I am now urging upon the 
census authorities in the United States the advisa- 
bility of asking the questions, " Are there any deaf 
" or hard of hearing persons in this house, and if so 
" at what age did the deafness occur?" and if you 
cannot get at the age, at what period of life did it 
occur. The census takers might get at that as 
nearly as they could; then after that the census 
taker could ask about deaf mutes ; if you get these 
particulars you can completely determine the case ; 
we can get at those who belong to the class called 
"deaf and dumb" without hurting the feelings of 
the parents of those children, and it is those little 
children we want to reach. 

21.384. {Sir Tindal Robertson.) Would you rec- 
ommend that the census takers should inquire into 
the cause of the deafness? — Certainly, all the in- 
formation which could be got should be got in the 
census return, but the recording of the fact of the 
deafness and the age at which it occurred would en- 
able us to find out the deaf children of school age in 
time to bring them under instruction. 

21.385. {Chairman.) With regard to classification 
of methods of instruction have you any remarks to 
make ? — It seems to me that we want to think very 
carefully over the methods of instruction, and find 
some suitable and natural classification of them. I 
cannot say that I have hit upon such a classification, 
but 1 have some ideas upon the subject to offer you 
which perhaps you may think worthy of considera- 
tion. In this classification I cannot see any place 
for the combined system, it is neither one thing nor 
the other. When, we come to consider that the 
possibility of instructing a deaf child is based upon 
the possibility of teaching a language of communi- 
cation whereby ideas may be imparted and the mind 
cultivated, I think in that language of communica- 
tion we have a basis of classification. You cannot 
very well have a combination. It is difficult for 
a person to think in two languages. There is 
some one language in which a child thinks : the 
question is, what is that? Whatever your method 
of instruction may be the child thinks in some form 
of expression. When we think we think in words — 
or rather with words, for I presume no one really 
does think in words, although we have a conscious- 
ness of what we mean by " thinking in a language." 
We think in the English language, and when we 
come to learn French or German we are still English, 
and we translate. What is the language a deaf 
child thinks in f It is the language which is habitu- 
ally used by the people around to impart ideas to 

the child. That is the basis of classification to my 
mind, and you may divide that broadly into two 
classes, one the ordinary language of the people and 
the other a special language. I do not care Avhether 
it is sign language, or German or French. It is a 
language special to the child if it is not the language 
of the people. You have those cases in which the 
language of communication is the ordinary language 
of the people, and you have those cases in which 
the language of communication and thought is a 
special language different from the language of the 

Classification or Methods or Instruction. 

Basis of 

The language 
employed to 
impart ideas. 

Class to which 

the Method 


("Ordinary Lan- 
guage Me- 

Special L a n - 
guage Me- 


' (1.) Manual 

(2.) Oral Me- 

}.) Sign Me- 

Specific Methods 
of Instruction. 

(a.) The Manual 
Alphabet Me- 

f (b.) The Speech- 

I reading Method. 

1 (c.) The Auricu- 

l lar Method. 

(A) The Sign- 
language Me- 

21.386. Before a deaf and dumb child has had 
any instruction at all his mind is the same as that 
of a speaking child or a hearing child ; why should 
there be a special language for a deaf and dumb 
child differing from that for a speaking child ? — We 
all start in life without a language, and we all ac- 
quire a language by instruction. 

21.387. By imitation? — By imitating the lan- 
guage spoken by those round about us ; any lan- 
guage that a deaf and dumb child can imitate, that 
is clearly perceived by his senses, that is used by 
the people round about him, he will learn by imita- 
tion. If people round about him do not use any 
language that he can acquire by imitation he goes 
to work to invent one, and the moment a child com- 
mences to invent a language of his own he has got 
to the age when he should be taught a language. 
He wants to express ideas. It seems to me that 
the classification of methods of instruction should 
be based upon whether the language of the people 
is used as the language of communication, or a 
special language not the language of the people. 
Now we may divide the " ordinary language of the 
people" into two sub-classifications, viz.: (1) Its 
written (or " manual ") form, and (2) its spoken (or 
"oral") form; and among the sub-divisions of 
" special language " would come (3) a language in 
the form of gestures (or " signs "). 

" Manual," "oral," and "sign " methods may be 
still further sub-divided according to the mode in 
which the language is presented to the pupil so as 
to designate specific methods of instruction. 

1. Under "manual methods" would come (a) 
" the manual alphabet method," which rejects the 
sign-language and relies upon writing and a finger 

2. Under " oral methods " would come {b) " the 
" speech-reading method " (pure oral), and (c) " the 
" auricular method," the spoken language of the 
people being presented in the one case to the eye, 
and in the other to the ear ; and 

3. Under " sign methods " would come {d) " the 
" sign-language method," used in America where 
the " combined system " is employed. 

There we get a distinct basis on which to build, 
broad enough to include other possible methods. 

21.388. Is not the old classification more simple, 
namely, (1) language, and (2) signs; the one ap- 
pealing to the eye and the other to the ear? — I only 
submit this, without very much confidence, to the 
Commission as a basis upon which we might per- 
haps arrive at some reasonable classification of 

21.389. {Mr. Johnson.) What you call a special 
language would be sign language ? — The language 


of signs is a special language ; it is immaterial 
whether it is a sign language, or French, or German, 
or Hottentot ; it is not the ordinary language of the 
people, and when a deaf and dumb child is taught 
in sign language he thinks in that sign language, 
and he has to go through the mental process of 
translation when he comes to use English, and it is 
that difficulty which separates the deaf who are so 
taught from the hearing world in adult life, and leads 
the deaf to keep together and not mix with hearing 
people, and to intermarry and have deaf children. 

21 .390. That is on the hypothesis that he is taught 
signs ? — On the hypothesis that he is taught a lan- 
guage that is not the language of the people. 

21.391. What is your definition of special lan- 
guage ? — I mean by the term any language that is 
special to the deaf and not used by the people among 
whom they live. 

21.392. {Chairman.) Do you think much can be 
done in the way of improving the hearing of the 
deaf? — When we realise the truth of the fact that 

•there is no other defect in those that we term deaf 
mutes than the simple defect of deafness, we may 
also realise that there may be degrees in the amount 
of that deafness, and we have been startled in Amer- 
ica by the discovery that large numbers of those 
who are congenitally deaf are only very slightly hard 
of hearing ; they suffer from such a slight disability 
of hearing that, had the defect occurred after they 
had learned to speak, they never would have ap- 
peared in an institution for the deaf and dumb. 
Now, the difficulty is to ascertain the amount of 
hearing possessed by an apparently deaf child. Ex- 
periments have been made with hearing tubes and 
various appliances for a great number of years past. 
The first case on record in which an attempt was 
made to ascertain to what extent a deaf person 
could be made to hear occurred before 1867, when 
Mr. Whipple in Connecticut, who had a deaf mute 
son, tried to teach him to speak. Mr. Whipple, who 
was a man of little culture and education, was dis- 
satisfied with the instruction given in the institution 
at Hartford, and he set his son up in front of him 
and shouted at him, and mouthed at him, and the 
boy learned to speak. Mr Whipple thereupon 
formed the erroneous idea that all deaf children could 
be taught to speak in that way. He produced his 
son to the Principal of the American Asylum in 
Hartford, and the principal of that institution went 
behind the boy, about a foot behind his ear, and 
spoke to him, and the boy answered him. The 
principal unfortunately came to the conclusion that 
it was a case of fraud or self-delusion, and that the 
boy was not a deaf mute at all. He failed to see 
in this case the beginning of a great discovery, that 
the hearing power could be educated and utilised.* 

21.393. We have had evidence of the fact that in- 
struction in speech does develop a certain amount 
of hearing? — Then I will not trouble you by going 
into the history of the development of that mode of 
treatment of the deaf, but I will proceed to give the 
per-centage of those that are capable of receiving 
auricular instruction. 

21.394. When a child first comes into school are 
any means taken to ascertain the amount of hearing 
that the child possesses and how far any of these 
auricular appliances would be a benefit to him ? — It 
is very difficult to ascertain the amount of hearing 
a child possesses. In the first instance in the case 

* Mr. Whipple attempted to put his ideas into operation 
by opening a private school, " The Whipple Home School," 
at Mystic, Conn. He succeeded in teaching all his pupils to 
speak though not to hear. After his death the school was 
carried on by one of his sons (" Zeno," I think), who proved 
to be a successful and ingenious teacher, and who invented 
a very interesting form of alphabet (known as "Whipple's 
Natural Alphabet"), for the purpose of teaching articulation. 
The characters were pictorial of the positions of the vocal 
organs in uttering sounds, thus having the same basal idea 
as my father's system of " visible speech," but it was de- 
vised, I believe, quite independently of my father. Mr. 
Zeno Whipple (the inventor of the alphabet) died a few years 
ago, but the school still exists among the private schools. 

of young children, they almost always appear to Mr. 


A. G. Bell. 

21.395. You mean they always say they hear? — i4j une i888. 

Yes ; it is well known that in our institutions for the 

deaf the pupils are summoned in from the school 

ground by ringing a dinner bell, that indicates that 
a good number of them can hear, and I suggested 
the experiment of counting the number of pupils 
who could hear the ringing of a bell, and so deter- 
mine the per-centage, but Dr. Gillett of the Illinois 
Institution replies, " I find all my children can hear 
" the ringing of the dinner bell, but only five per 
" cent, can hear the school bell." Mr. S. T. Walker, 
the Superintendent of the Kansas Institution, says, 
that out of 161 pupils tested " 88 said they could 
" hear, but 48 of these also said they heard when 
" the bell was not rung." Still, some very interest- 
ing statistics have resulted from the experiments 
that have been made within the last month in Amer- 
ica upon that question, and I have been able to get 
a per-centage of cases where there is partial hear- 
ing. I find that out of 1,475 pupils tested 304, or 
20-6 per cent., can hear the ringing of a bell. 

21.396. How was that tested ?— Mr. Walker (Super- 
intendent of the Kansas Institution) describes the 
method as follows : — " I had them turn their backs 
" to me each trial, and at a signal face me and tell 
" who heard. These trials were repeated several 
" times and one or two of them were false trials, 
" when the bell was not touched. Notwithstanding 
" 48 of the 161 tried answered that they heard the 
" bell every time, even when it was not touched. 
" Knowing that to make statistics of real effect (or 
" rather the conclusions drawn from them) they 
" should be as nearly correct as possible, I was care- 
" ful to have these tests correct." 

21.397. {Dr. Campbell.) It would make a great 
difference whether the children stood on a wooden 
floor or a stone floor ; have you any information as 
to what sort of floor they stood on ? — No. In the 
proof I handed to you you will find some remarkable 
testimony regarding auricular instruction. Those 
are reports from the institutions which have pur- 
sued auricular instruction as a distinct method, giv- 
ing details of the instruction, and the method of 
instruction, and giving full statistics. 

21.398. ( Chairman. ) Would the system of auricular 
instruction, if it were systematically and constantly 
pursued, tend to develop the general hearing? — The 
apparent hearing power is enormously developed byit. 

21.399. {Mr. Van Oven.) In such a case as you 
referred to just now, do you think the continuous 
shouting in a boy's ear would tend to develop the 
power of hearing? — Yes. It is extremely doubtful 
whether it produces any real improvement in the 
hearing proper, but there is a marvellous improve- 
ment in the power of discriminating sounds, but that 
comes, I think (and it seems to be the prevailing 
impression in America), from an increased knowl- 
edge of language and increased attention, but cer- 
tainly it is the case that pupils who at first exhibit 
very little power of imitation when you speak into 
a hearing tube, after being taught orally and 
auricularly for a few months, come to under- 
stand through that hearing tube, and to dis- 
criminate sounds, which they could not discriminate 
before, and it is a great problem whether there is 
any improvement in the hearing or not. I am inclined 
to think there may be some slight improvement, due 
to that cause, because when we perform the act of list- 
ening we use a muscle, in the action of listening 
there is a contraction of a muscle adjusting the 
tension of the membrane, and why should not 
that muscle grow by use, like other muscles of 
the body. I must say, however, that this 
opinion is contrary to the opinion , of all the 
aurists to whom I have spoken. Take a con- 
genitally deaf child, he has no language, that lack of 
language is an element in making his deafness appear 
greater than it is really is. Suppose a Chinaman were 
to test your hearing by asking you to imitate some 



Mr. Chinese word or phrase, it would be rather hard on 

A. G. Bell. y OU if he attributed your inability to repeat that 

14 June 1888 ' wor ^ or phrase to lack of hearing. A deaf child 

' has to contend against the difficulty of the want of 

familiarity with the language. The English lan- 
guage is Chinese to that child, and as he advances 
in knowledge of language he also advances in power 
of perception. I may refer to a remarkable instance 
of what can be done in the way of auricular instruc- 
tion : there is a young man, a teacher in the New 
York Institution, Mr. Jones, who was a congenital 
deaf mute, or became deaf very early in life. He 
passed through the whole curriculum of that institu- 
tion as a deaf mute, he graduated from that institu- 
tion and went through the course in the National 
College at Washington as a deaf mute; he then 
married a hearing lady and became a teacher in the 
New York Institution. Just about this time experi- 
ments, which attracted a great deal of attention in 
America, were being made in the Nebraska Institu- 
tion, where it was shown that 16 per cent, of the 
pupils could be taught auricularly, and that of those 
the majority could be turned out of school as simply 
" hard of heariDg speaking persons," and not as deaf 
mutes. The wife of this gentleman knowing he had 
some hearing, thought she would like to try some 
experiments with him, and she sat to work to teach 
him to speak ; and he has learnt to speak and learnt 
to hear. "When I was at the New York Institution, 
I placed him at the end of the schoolroom, and I 
talked with him, and he answered* me, then I went 
out of the room backwards into the passage a con- 
siderable distance away, and I could carry on a con- 
versation with him by shouting to him. 

21.400. Is any special instrument other than the 
ear trumpet used ? — The tendency seems to be to 
discard instrumental aids, but the majority of teach- 
ers prefer to use, temporarily at least, what is known 
as the Currier " Conico - cylindrical conversation 
tubes, with duplex ear-piece. This (producing it) 
is a photograph of a class at the New York In- 
stitution for the Deaf and Dumb which will show 
the nature of the apparatus. Each child has a du- 
plex tube (two speaking tubes connected to a single 
ear-piece). The teacher speaks into one of the 
speaking tubes, and the child itself into the other, 
the idea being that he may hear his own voice and 
compare the intonation of his voice with that which 
proceeds from the teacher. In class instruction the 
teacher takes a whole bunch of these speaking tubes 
in his hand at once, and speaks into them all at the 
same time. This operation is shown in the photo- 
graph. I may say that this auricular instruction is 
carried on as a separate method of instruction in 
four schools in America. The endeavour was first 
to test the hearing of all the pupils, and then to form 
an auricular class. 

21.401. Are those schools oral exclusively ? — No. 
Three of them are what Dr. Gallaudet would call 
combined schools. The other is a private oral 

21.402. Are they leading schools in America ? — 
Three of them are State institutions. Each one is a 
leading school in its own State, and I presume no 
principal would like me to discriminate between one 
institution and another. I have statistics from 
Nebraska if you would care to have them. At 
Nebraska they started a class to test whether the 
audiphone was of any value, each child placed one 
against the teeth, and all the children who seemed 
to perceive any sound were placed in a class by them- 
selves, and attempts were made to get them to imitate 
the sounds uttered by the teacher ; it was found that 
a certain portion did so, and then it was found that 
the audiphone was of no use, and that they could 
do just as well without it. That was the origin of 
this^ auricular class, and Mr. Gillespie, the Principal, 
states that his belief is that 16 per cent, of all the 
pupils in our institutions are capable of auricular 
instruction. In New York experiments were made 
by myself in conjunction with Mr. Currier and Mr. 

Clarke, and in Washington by Professor Gordon. 
We had been appointed a committee to investigate 
this subject of hearing power, and we devised an 
apparatus which we have called an audiometer, for 
measuring the power of hearing, and I have brought 
one of these instruments with me which I shall have 
great pleasure in presenting to the Commission. 
The hearing power of several hundred deaf mutes 
has been tested by an apparatus like this. It con- 
sists essentially of two coils of wire and a magneto 
generator, which generates an intermittent current 
of electricity in one of the coils, the other coil being 
connected with a telephone, and currents are in- 
duced in the secondary coil by the action of the 
first, but the intensity of the induced current de- 
pends on the distance between the the two coils, so 
that if you get the two coils in close proximity you 
get a tremendous noise ; but as you draw one coil 
away from the other the sound becomes less and 
less till at a certain distance no sound can be per- 
ceived. Then the distance between the two coils 
we take as the measure of the hearing power. 

21.403. (Rev. Mr. Owen.) Is that audiometer 
your invention? — Partly my invention and partly 
Mr. Clarke's. We got it up among us, and it has 
served a very useful purpose. We do not know 
how far it may be of value ; it is of value in giving 
numerical estimates of hearing, but it takes a 
great length of time to test hearing. We tested 
the hearing of the pupils in the New York 
Institution by that instrument, and also by the 
ringing of a bell and also by shouting, and I 
came to the conclusion that if a child can 
hear the ringing of a bell there is some hope 
for him by auricular instruction. A curious point 
in connexion with this auricular instruction was 
this, that some of those who would not be termed 
semi-deaf developed into hard of hearing persons 
by instruction in the institution. I think 16 or 17 
per cent, of the whole number of pupils in our 
schools will prove fit subjects for auricular instruc- 
tion. In Nebraska the principal has stated it to be 
16 per cent, and in Arkansas the principal has 
also stated it to be 16 per cent., and in the New 
York Institution the auricular teacher has stated 
it to be 17 per cent. In the private school, " The 
Voice and Hearing School," the percentage is 
greater. The per-centage of those known to be 
semi-deaf by the principals of institutions I find 
to be tbis. Of 5,060 pupils, 462, or 91 per cent., 
are known to be semi-deaf, that is the minimum 
per-centage, and we know now from the experi- 
ments which have been made in auricular instruc- 
tion that a large number who are not known to be 
semi-deaf turn out to be semi-deaf. From the bell 
experiments the percentage was 206, which I take 
to be the maximum per-centage, so that probably 
16 or 17 per cent, would turn out to be the true 
average per-centage. It will be unnecessary for me 
to speak about methods of instruction or apparatus 
used, for those are fully entered into in the reports 
which I have placed in your hands from those who 
have had most experience in that class of work. I 
may say here that in experiments with this audio- 
meter I tested the hearing power of over 700 
children in the public schools in Washington in 
order to arrive at an idea of what the normal hear- 
ing was, and I found that there are children in our 
public schools who hear worse than the best cases 
of deaf mutes in our institutions, and if we could 
classify the deafness of the whole population we 
would find a complete gradation from perfect hear- 
ing down to no hearing at all. 

21.404. (Rev. Mr. Sleight.) Has any one perfect 
hearing? — Probably not, for there is generally a 
difference between the hearing power of the two 
ears. There is one other apparatus I have brought 
here (which is an improvement, perhaps, upon that 
which I have just shown you) which has not been 
tested yet ; but it tests hearing with more facility 
than the other instrument. 





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i— h 






















►— <- 


















cr x 


1— 1 



























* ; 











lb face, quuurtJuoToTr? %1,4iQ 

Diagram N?2 . 

Comparison of the Congenitally and 
non- congenitally deaf admitted to the 

American Asylum and Illinois Institution 







n, A, 
















\ 300 



\ 80 





> 40 



\ ZC 




\ ZOO 



i 80 




\ 60 




i 40 










\ 60 


\ 40 




* * 





































* "1 4< 

S s, * 


,3 1 










































§ 111 

77us> oievrk, Itrvea rrvOLcavbe, -&voa& pupiZo «v7io were, born, cteajf, ctrvdL tfut/ ttffht 
Ixrves those, ivho iececme deaffhom, 6U^ecLse> or* auzeLcLervt/ . 
The- papiZe are; arrccngecL ouxurtixnn to'jteriocL oFhvrth/ . 

To face, qvutetuorolT? 2J,4<?9 

Diagram N? I 

Analysis of 22472 Cases of Deaf Mutes 

Living on I s . t June 1880. 
From the Census Returns for the Unjted States 

Relation, between, the* congervbbaL ajvdb nxmj-congervubaL eLeafi-mvubes ofihe, 
courvbry, accordvnd to the, 7UvJireil>. H. Wvnea . 

The, congenvbaL dea^-nvates cure, vubLoateJL hythe, dark Tout,; thi, ywrv-oongerdtaL, 
if tfu, light line, . Theae, cLeaf-mzvte& are, arnaruiertb ouooarcbcng to the* 

pervodL when, cLect/rue&s ocoumecL . 


21.405. (Chairman.) Must you have electricity 
for that too * — Yes ; this takes advantage of the 
principle of the induction balance. There are two 
coils here, if they are kept in this position no hu- 
man ear can perceive any sound, but if this is moved 
a hair's breadth the normal ear will perceive a sound, 
so that you can at once select those who have got 
normal hearing from those who have not. 

21.406. (Mr. Van Oven.) Is this your invention ? 

21.407. (Chairman.) Would you now give us your 
opinion as to the causes of deafness ; you have gone 
into the matter very fully, I believe? — I no not 
know that I am capable or competent to give much 
detailed information on the causes of deafness. I 
can allude to some of the principal causes in the 
United States. 

21.408. Are there any statistics for that purpose ? 
— Every institution report records the causes of 
deafness of the pupils admitted. I may say here 
that I have brought over a large collection of insti- 
tution reports in case the members of the Commis- 
sion would like to look over them. In each of these 
reports you will find the causes of deafness of the 
pupils admitted. I would, perhaps, rather speak of 
the causes of deafness of the whole deaf mute pop- 

21.409. Can you present it to us in a classified 
form * — Yes. I can present some light on the causes 
of deafness. The full returns of the census with 
regard to the causes of deafness has not yet been 
published ; it is the very last thing to be published ; 
but I have, in my " Memoir upon the formation of 
a deaf variety of the human race," a copy of which 
I would like you to consult, given on page 35 (See 
Diagram No. 1) the results of an investigation 
of 22,472 cases of deaf mutes reported in the census, 
dividing these into two classes : those who are re- 
ported deaf from birth, and those who are reported 
deaf from disease or accident. You will observe 
that the curves are very remarkable. I may say 
further on the point, that these cases are also classi- 
fied according to the period when deafness occurred. 
The vertical height of the curve indicates the num- 
ber of deaf mutes who became deaf at a certain 
period, which is indicated by the horizontal distance. 

21.410. What does the dark line at the top indi- 
cate, where it gets to 3,400? — That indicates that 
there were about 3,400 congenital deaf mutes 
who became deaf in the period from 1861 to 1870, 
in that decade. (The actual number was 3,390.) If 
you refer down you will see that. The vertical height 
indicates the number of cases that became deaf, and 
the horizontal extension indicates the decade in 
which that deafness occurred. In the case of the 
congenital deaf mutes it indicates the period of birth 
also. In the case of non-congenital deaf mutes it 
does not indicate the period of birth. 

21.411. Then the dotted line seems to go back to 
2,000 in the decade from 1871 to 1880 ?— Yes : but 
it is to be observed that these are the younger deaf 
mutes, of whom probably many were not enu- 
merated. You will find on page 36 these words, 
" Mr. Wines says that in proportion to the degree 
" of their youth, the younger deaf mutes are not 
" enumerated. Fewer deaf mutes who are babes in 
*' arms are enumerated than at the age of three 
" years, and fewer at three years than at seven. 
" The apparent maximum at seven is not the actual 
" maximum ; the actual maximum is at some 
" younger age not yet ascertained." In fact you 
can see from Diagram No. 1 that the census of 1880 
shows a proportionately less number of deaf-mutes 
who lost hearing in the decade of 1871-80 than in 
the previous decade. Owing to this apparent de- 
ficiency the line for that decade has been dotted to 
call attention to it. It appears as though the 
younger deaf mutes were not fully returned. That 
led Mr. Wines to suppose that the total number of 
deaf mutes in the United States, if it could be as- 
certained, would amount to 35,000 instead of 33,878. 

21.412. What is the next line below that?— The Mr. 
light line is a graphical representation on the same A. Q. B eU. 
plan of the deaf mutes who become deaf from disease. 14 June lg88 

21.413. This table begins at eight years old? — 

Yes, at any age ; but the period there refers not to 

the period of birth, but to the period when deafness 
occurred. Now you will observe one general result 
that you may obtain by a glance at the tables, viz., 
that there has been an enormous increase in the last 
few years in the numbers of the non-congenitally 
deaf, so great as to reverse the whole relation be- 
tween the two classes. You see the curves cross 
one another. In the case of the younger deaf mutes, 
the majority are non-congenitally deaf ; in the case 
of the older deaf mutes, the majority were, born 
deaf. It will also be seen that this result is not 
due to a diminution in the number of the congeni- 
tally deaf. The curve formed by the congenitally 
deaf is a perfectly symmetrical curve ; there is a 
regular increase at a regular rate, and a mathema- 
tician could project it where it is deficient. 

21.414. I do not quite know why one of these 
lines begins at the third line, and the other begins 
at the fifth line apparently ; has it anything to do 
with the ages ? — If you take the extreme left corner 
of the diagram at the lower point as your starting 
point, that is the origin for the axes of co-ordinates ; 
that is the lower left-hand corner, where the vertical 
and horizontal lines cross one another. That point 
is on the vertical line indicating the decade 1771 to 
1780, but no deaf mutes were living in 1880 who 
were born in that decade, so that neither of the 
curves extend as far as that. Now, if you go two 
lines to your right, where the actual curve com- 
mences, that indicates the period from 1781 to 1790. 
It is the dark line that commences there. This 
shows that some of the congenital deaf mutes who 
were living in 1880 were born in that decade. By 
reference to the figures you will find that nine were 
born in that period. 

21.415. (Mr. Woodall.) I thought you expected us, 
in this diagram, to see the average ages of the children 
at which certain results were obtained ? No, except 
in the case of the congenitally deaf, because there £he 
period of birth coincides with the period when deaf- 
ness occurred. This enormous rise of the light line 
indicates a period when there was an enormous 
"increase in the number of persons who became deaf 
from disease. 

21.416. (Chairman.) Will you call attention to the 
general results, apart from the diagram ? — The gen- 
eral result is this, that the numbers of the non-con- 
genitally deaf are subject to great and sudden 
fluctuations on account of epidemic diseases which 
cause deafness ; whereas the numbers of the con- 
genitally deaf are not subject to these sudden 
changes. In the second diagram you will observe 
a comparison of the congenitally and non-congeni- 
tally deaf admitted to the American Asylum and the 
Illinois Institution. In the American Asylum you 
will see that there were two periods when there was 
an abnormal increase in the number of persons who 
became deaf from disease. In the Illinois Institu- 
tion the increase in the number of persons who 
became deaf from disease has been so great within 
the last few years that I call special attention to it. 
I will read from my paper what I say : "In regard 
" to the Illinois pupils (Diagram No. 2) it will be 
" observed that the increase in the numbers of the 
" non-congenitally deaf is so enormous that, of the 
" pupils who were born in the decade 1860-69, 
" there were more than three times as many non-con- 
" geni tally deaf as there were congenitally deaf, and 
" of those born in 1870-79 more than four times, 
" whereas the census returns show that more than 
" half of all the deaf mutes living in this country 
" (1880) were born deaf." There is, therefore, evi- 
dence that, taking the deaf mutes as a whole, there 
has been of recent years a great epidemic ; and 
on examining the statistics of the various institutions 
I find that it is due to an epidemic of cerebro-spinal 



A. O. Bell. 

14 June 1888. 

meningitis, which now takes the first rank as the 
deafness-producing disease of America. 

21.417. {Chairman.) Is that consequent upon 
some particular condition of life ? — I am not able to 

21.418. {Dr. McDonnell.) " Spotted fever," I see 
in the note, is another name for it ? — Yes, so it is 
stated. These cases often become deaf suddenly, 
in half an hour. 

21.419. {Chairman.) Is that an inherited disease, 
or is it caused by some affection of the patient con- 
cerned ? — I am not competent to decide that ; I think 
it is not inherited. There are evidences of two great 
epidemics of cerebro-spinal meningitis in America 
which caused deafness, one occurring in the decade 
from 1810 to 1819, and that is the cause, by-the-bye, 
of that sudden sharp curve about the period in the 
American Asylum diagram (Diagram 2), and also 
probably the cause of the irregularity in the non- 
congenital curve for the deaf-mutes of the country 
(Diagram 1), occurring at that same period (1811- 
1820). If this is so, it indicates that the earlier epi- 
demic extended over the whole country sufficiently 
to affect the relation between the congenital and 
non-congenital classes. That died away, and about 
1840 scarlet fever assumed the first rank as the deaf- 
ness-producing disease. Since the period of the 
Civil War scarlet fever has gradually taken second 
rank, and the cerebro-spinal meningitis is now the 
prevailing cause. Few, if any, deaf-mutes have ap- 
peared in our institutions who became deaf from 
cerebro-spinal meningitis in the period from 1820 
to 1860. 

21.420. {Mr. Woodall.) Perhaps you will explain 
whether the epidemic was more felt in Illinois than 
in the other States ? — I do not know ; but there is 
evidence that it has been felt all over the country ; 
all the institution reports show it, and it affects, as 
you see, the relation of the non- congenital to the 
congenital cases in the whole country; it has re- 
versed the whole relation. 

21.421. {Rev. Mr. Sleight.) Why is the line in 
diagram 2 (Illinois Institution) dotted from 1860 to 
1869? — Because there we know the curves are in- 
complete ; they are inaccurate because all the pupils 
who became deaf in that decade, who would ulti- 
mately be sent to that school, had not been admitted 
into the institution at the period when the report 
was made, from which these diagrams were made. 

21.422. {Sir Tindal Robertson.) What is the 
average age at which deafness occurs ? — I have no 
idea of that. 

21.423. With regard to this particular epidemic 
that would be a most interesting point ? — You will 
see these reports, and if the question is one of im- 
portance to the Commission I shall be glad to ex- 
amine the point and see what we can determine. 
We cannot determine it from the census returns, 
because the ages and causes of deafness have not 
been fully published. 

21.424. Could it be ascertained whether at the 
same time there was any corresponding disease with 
the same results with regards to adults ? — Not from 
the institution reports. 

21.425. From any other sources ? — Yes ; we have 
sources of information from which much informa- 
tion could be obtained. We could certainly obtain 
statistics relating to deaths, but I do not know 
whether the fact of deafness in adults could be ob- 
tained. Dr. Billings, of the Army and Navy Medi- 
cal Library (Washington, D. C), could give you in- 
formation upon this point. 

21.426. {Mr. Woodall.) You have probably ex- 
plained just now what can be said with regard to 
the extraordinary increase of congenital deafness 
over the period traversed by your diagram ? — I have 
not touched the question of the congenitally deaf 
yet ; we are now on the non-congenitally deaf. 

21.427. But I observe that the increase in non- 
congenital deafness shown in the diagram of Illinois 
is corroborated by the general increase over the 
States generally ? — Yes. 

21.428. But the relative amount of congenital deaf- 
ness in the two institutions on the second diagram 
does not exactly correspond with the first diagram. 
Congenital deafness over the United States generally 
appears to have reached a higher figure, does it not, 
in the period of 1870, than it has done in the sepa- 
rate institution? — That is very simply explained. 
The report from which the American Asylum diagram 
was made was issued in 1877, and so it is unreli- 
able, say, for two decades before that, because pupils 
are rarely admitted till they are 10 or 12 years old, 
and some do not appear until they are adults. It 
is not reliable for the decade 1850 to 1859. The 
reports from the American Asylum show that there 
was a decrease, not that there was any real decrease, 
there for that period, but simply that all the pupils 
who were born in that decade (1850-1859), (who 
would ultimately be sent to school) had not ap- 
peared in the institution at the date when the report 
was made (1877). The Illinois Institution report 
again is a later report, 1882 ; and it only starts from 
1846; whereas the American asylum report starts 
from 1815. That explains at once the difference. 
Put the two diagrams together in the mind. The 
American Asylum for the earlier period and the 
Illinois Institution for the later, and the composite 
approximates more closely to the curve from the 
census returns. 

21.429. But looking at Diagram No. 1 only, it 
might almost have been assumed that there was 
neither congenital nor non-congenital deafness at all 
preceding the period of 1780-1790? — But we do 
not know that. And in the census there were very 
few, because they were not living in 1880. The 
census returns are only for deaf mutes who were 
alive in 1880. 

21.430. That I take it must be always borne in 
mind, that you have been steadily decade by decade 
making stricter scrutiny into the existence of those 
causes whose existence was previously ignored?- Yes. 

21.431. {Rev. Mr. Sleight.) That is to say that the 
more accurate returns you give, the higher it goes? — 
Yes. There is one important point of difference 
between the institution returns and the census re- 
turns. The institution returns give all the deaf who 
were admitted, their dates of birth, &c, irrespective 
of whether they were alive or not when the reports 
were made. The census returns only gave those 
deaf who were living on 1st June, 1880. And let me 
direct your attention to a very important point. I 
may be wrong in my deductions ; but I think it is 
an important point that we can determine from such 
curves as these, and throw some light upon the 
growth of the deaf-mute population, without ref- 
erence to the earlier defective censuses, and I have 
attempted to do so on the large diagram shown fac- 
ing page 40 in my Memoir (see Diagram No. 3). I 
think it is very important that the Commission 
should form an opinion as to whether my line of 
reasoning is correct or not ; because we cannot rely 
upon the earlier censuses. My idea is this : that if 
we compare the relative numbers of congenital deaf 
mutes and hearing persons of the same age, that 
should give us the relation between the whole con- 
genital deaf population and the hearing population 
at the period when they were born, on the assump- 
tion that the death rates are equal, that they are cut 
down equally ; that is the assumption on which I 
go. If we assume that the numerical relation that 
now exists between congenital deaf mutes and hear- 
ing persons of the same age, approximately rep- 
resents the proportion of the congenitally deaf to 
the whole population born at the period when they 
were born, we have the means of comparing the 
growth of the congenitally deaf population with 
that of the population at large. The indications are 
that the congenital deaf mutes of the country are 
increasing at a greater rate than the population at 
large ; that is evident from the curve which shows it. 

21.432. {Mr. Woodall.) In the earlier diagrams 
these are gross figures, are they not ; they are not 
relative figures to the population ? — No. 

% face question JV? 21.431. 


Comparison, of the congeniiaUy deaf, populations with popuZatuj/L, cub large, irv the. United/ Slates. 

LKtMp-Jhstribiition- aceordina to cujc (I) of the whole population of 
the United, Stales J2I of the congenital deaf mute population, and,(3, 
of deaf mules whoare the ditldren. of deaf nuites 
The ordinate* of the- curves represent the percentage of Vie whole 
who -were born. irv the deeadrs tndifai&l by the abscissa;. 
-^^— ^^— represent* popalation,cf the Vnxted States. 

represent* congenital, deaf mates of the. Uruteol States 

- represents deaf twites who art the children, of deuf mutes. 

• ■ • -represents fH-rtiort. of the curves known, to be totrelieMe 

,account of incomplete returns. 

H h 



21.433. In the diagram which you have pre- 
sented, showing the relative proportion of congenital 
and non-congenital cases of deaf mutism in the 
United States, the ascending scale indicates the 
actual gross numbers and not the per-centage to the 
general population at all ? — Yes, that is true for the 
first diagram presented. 

21.434. Would not a table showing the general 
population of the United States during that period, 
and its wonderful increase, have something like the 
same appearance as this diagram presents? — I have 
shown that. 

21.435. For the entire population ? — Yes, for the 
•entire population of the United States ; it is shown 
on the diagram No. 3. But it would be difficult to 
represent on the same scale, the absolute number 
of the whole population and the absolute number of 
the deaf population ; and I have therefore taken 

per-centages so as to give them on the same scale ; Mr. 
the lower dark line indicates the distribution accord- - 4 * "^ ^ eiiw 
ing to age of the whole population of 50,155,783. 14 June 1888 

Then the second line indicates the distribution ac- 

cording to age of the congenitally deaf population ; 
and if you look in the Appendix to my Memoir, you 
will find the table and all the figures given from 
which the table is made. I would like very much 
that the Commission should realise that this demon- 
stration (because it seems to my mind to be a dem- 
onstration) that the congenitally deaf mute popu- 
lation is increasing at a greater rate than the popu- 
lation at large, is independent of the errors of the 
earlier census reports. All the material is taken 
from the 1880 census alone. The table to which I 
refer is Table U in the Appendix, on page 77. It 
is as follows : — 

Deaf-mute population of the United States compared with the population at large- 

Period of Birth. 

Population of the United States (1880), 
classified according to period of birth, 
and the number of persons born in 
each period reduced to a percentage 
of the whole. 

12,154 congenital deaf-mutes 
living June 1, 1880, classi- 
fied according to period of 
birth, and the number of 
deaf-mutes born in each 
period reduced to a per- 
centage of the whole. 

Deaf-mutes both of whose par- 
ents were deaf-mutes, classi- 
fied according to period of 
birth, and the number of 
deaf-mutes born in each period 
reduced to a percentage of the 

Number of 




Deaf-mutes both 
of whose par- 
ents were deaf 
and dumb. 



13, 394, 176 

10, 726, 601 


6, 369, 362 

4, 558, 256 



776, 507 

196, 197 

20, 863 



































Total - 

50, 155, 783 


12, 154 




21.436. In effect there has been a very remark- 
able growth of the general population of the United 
States, a still greater growth of the congenitally 
deaf, and in a much greater ratio — especially from 
1840 to 1860 — of deaf mutes born of deaf mutes ? 

21.437. {Mr. Van Oven.) But there is an im- 
mense falling off from 1871 to 1880?— These are 
the deaf children of deaf mutes. The apparent 
falling off does not necessarily mean a real falling 
off. These deaf children were returned to me as 
having been at some time pupils of institutions. 
Few pupils make their appearance at school before 
they are 10 or 12 years of age, so that many of 
the younger deaf children had not appeared in 
school at the time the returns were made to me. 
But there is another point. The line forming the 
line for deaf mute children born of deaf mutes 
commences suddenly. There are none at all before 
the decade 1831-1840. 

21.438. {Chairman.) Is that an absolute fact, 
or is it only unrecorded ? — I think it is an absolute 
fact, but that is simply my opinion. When I come 
to enter upon that subject (which I would rather 
not do just now) I will deal more fully with it. 
There are cases of deaf mutes who have one parent 
deaf, who were born earlier. But even with the 
fuller information now in my possession, the only 
case I have found of a deaf child with both parents 
deaf before that decade was a female born in 1829, 
but this case requires verification. Then there was 
no other case until 1833 that I have found ; there 
may be others, of course. But the important point 
is that the line starts suddenly. It does not ex- 
tend back to the beginning of the. century like the 

21.439. I think you said that you would give us 

a classified return of the causes of deafness, so far 
as you can ? — If the Commission would like it, I 
should be glad if they would put' any definite 
questions, and I shall be glad to see what I can do 
in the way of solving them between now and the 
next meeting. 

21.440. The classification of these causes of deaf- 
ness in the United States we have not got in a tab- 
ular form ? — I shall be happy to do what I can to 
arrive at that.* 

21.441. Are there any other causes of deafness to 
which you wish to draw particular attention on which 
you have made any particular remarks; you have 
told us of scarlet fever and cerebro-spinal menin- 
gitis ? — The causes of congenital deafness ai-e very 
obscure. There is a very prevalent impression 
among the parents of congenital deaf mutes that 
mental impressions upon the mother during the 
period of pregnancy have an influence on the child. 
I must say that I am not inclined to believe that ; 
but I must say that in my examination and inquiries 
among parents I found that belief very prevalent. 
It is evident that one of the chief causes of con- 
genital deafness is a hereditary pre-disposition. 
That is manifested by the fact that of the 2,262 
congenital deaf mutes, mentioned on page 13 of my 
memoir, more than one half, or 545 per cent., had 
other members of their family deaf and dumb. 

21.442. Is arrested development the cause of deaf- 
ness ? Sir William Dalby says that in the first class 
of causes he would place deafness as due to arrested 
development before birth, which is quite unprevent- 
able ? — I am very much inclined to think that there 
is a great deal in that. 

21.443. {Sir Tindal Robertson.) Can you tell us 

* See reply to Query 21,487. 



Mr- whether that idea of mental impressions is shared 
A. O. B ell, by experienced medical men, specialists, in America, 
14 June 1888. or * s on ty a B0T ^ °* popular idea ? — It is a sort of 
popular idea. 

21.444. Have you any particular book upon the 
question written by a recognised medical authority 
which throws any light upon this particular question 
of causes of deafness ? — I believe not. I am now en- 
gaged in a very elaborate investigation by which I 
hope to arrive at some light. It is based on this 
fact : that 545 per cent, have deaf mute relatives. 
From that fact I deduce this consequence that hered- 
ity plays a part in the production of congenital deaf- 
ness. If there is no deafness in the ancestry, it is 
something else in the family which is not specially 
indicated. If it is not deafness, how are we going to 
find it out 1 I have formulated a plan of research, 
from which I expect to obtain important results. It 
is to examine the ancestry of families containing 
three or more deaf children. If one child in a family 
is born deaf, it may be accidental ; if two children 
in a family are born deaf, it is a little less likely to 
be accidental ; but if there are three or more chil- 
dren born deaf, I think we may confidently assume 
that there is something to be discovered in the 
ancestry. Therefore I have started a genealogical in- 
quiry which has now assumed enormous proportions. 
I felt that one man could hope to do very little, and 
that it would be better to take a limited area of 
country and examine all the cases in that area in 
which three or more children had been born deaf. 
I have taken as the base of my operations the New 
England States, and I have experts, genealogists, 
at work who have been engaged for nearly four 
years in tracing the ancestry of all the families that 

I have any record of in the New England States, 
that have three or four deaf children. My plan is 
this : I trace the ancestry up in every branch. I do 
not know what it is we are going to look for except 
that it is probably something abnormal. Therefore 
we search for any peculiarities or abnormalities 
among the ancestors, or the brothers and sisters of 
the ancestors. My idea is that, where we, have got 
a good number of cases of distinct families having 
no deafness in the ancestry, but where three or 
more deaf children have appeared, we should take 
and put together these genealogies, make a sort of 
composite photograph, and see what sort of abnor- 
malities appear in common in the ancestry ; and 
that will have something to do with the deafness. 

21.445. (/Sir Tindal Hobertson.) Taking into 
consideration blood relationships?— Yes. 

21.446. (Chairman.) We have had evidence be- 
fore us that consanguinity has a very important 
bearing? — Without taking up the time of the Com- 
mission, I should like them to look at these papers. 
Those will give you an idea of the mass of material 
which I am collecting. This is the index to the 
genealogical material I am collecting with regard to 
the ancestry of deaf mutes in the New England 

21.447. With us in 35 institutions, there have been 
56 cases resulting from the marriages of first cousins, 

II of second cousins, of other relatives, two ; and 
28 cases which were children of deaf and dumb 
parents. Therefore the deaf and dumb marriages 
of first cousins appear to be double the number 
of those of children of deaf and dumb parents. 
And that is not quite a disposing cause, because a 
great many more first cousins have married of course 
than are the parents of deaf and dumb children ? — I 
presume that the Commission is familiar with the 
researches of Dr. George Darwin, of Cambridge, who 
has investigated that very point of consanguineous 
marriages. If I remember rightly he examined the 
institutions for the deaf and dumb in this country, 
and found the percentage of deaf mutes who are 
the children of first cousins ; so, too, he took the 
blind and the idiotic, and so forth, but he did not 
stop there as others have done, he took the percent- 
age of children with no defects at all in the schools, 

and found the percentage the same. And so far as 
my researches have gone, I have given considerable 
attention to this subject, and 1 can see no proof ; at 
least we have no statistics that undeniably prove 
that a consanguineous marriage is a cause of deaf- 
ness ; but I do see abundant proof that a consan- 
guineous marriage occurring in a family in which 
there is already deafness increases the deafness in 
the offspring ; it is simply a case of selection - t 
the family peculiarities, whatever they are, are in- 
creased. However, I must refer you to one source 
of information which seems to me to give the most 
plausible proof that consanguineous marriages may 
be a cause of deafness, that is the report of the 
Halifax Institution for 1877 ; it is out of print. 
The principal of that institution has only one copy. 
He had two, and he presented me with one. If the 
Commission have not got it at hand I have it here ; 
and I think the statistics that are in that report 
are very striking with regard to consanguineous 
marriages. But again with regard to this subject, 
if the Commission desire me to search the reports 
of the American institutions, and make tabular 
statements, I shall only be too glad to do so. 

21.448. (Mr. Woodall.) In stating Dr. Darwin's 
view, I understand you to concur in it ? — Yes, so far 
as my researches go. In regard to the question of 
arrested development in the nervous system, I may 
direct the attention of the Commission to a very 
curious phenomenon. White cats that have blue 
eyes are always deaf; it is a very curious thing. 
Darwin (the father) explains this peculiarity upon 
the hypothesis of arrested development of the. nerv- 
ous system. He says that all kittens when they are 
born are deaf. Not only are their eyes closed, but 
their ears are closed also, and if you avoid making 
a current of air, and simply make a loud noise by 
clapging together a poker and shovel, you cannot 
awake kittens if they are asleep. Now when the 
eyes are first opened they are always blue ; they 
change afterwards, and Darwin says that supposing 
an arrest of development to occur in the nervous 
system at the period of closed eyelids, the eyes will 
be permanently blue, and the kitten permanently 
deaf. In proof of that I may say that there was a 
French doctor, whose name I forget for the moment, 
who observed a while kitten with blue eyes, and 
tested its hearing as well as he could, and studied 
it, and when this cat grew to be about one year of 
age, he found that the eyes began to change colour, 
and then the cat began to hear. In the case of 
deaf mutes, I have sought to see whether we have 
anything similar in the blue eyes. I counted the 
blue eyes in one institution, and I found a very ab- 
normal proportion of blue eyes in the New York in- 
stitution, but I do not hold that as conclusive at all, 
because in New York State the Roman Catholic 
children go to a separate school, and they belong 
largely to the dark eyed races. I wish, however, to 
direct the attention of the Commission to one very 
curious thing. I cannot assert it as a fact, but I 
think it is of importance. I have found a few cases 
of deaf mutes who have eyes and hair that do not 
match, and every one of those was partially blind. 

21.449. (Chairman.) More or less albinos ? — No, 
light blue eyes and black hair. And on examining a 
school for the idiotic in Elwin, Pennsylvania, my at- 
tention was immediately struck with the fact that 
about 50 per cent, of the children in the primary 
school there had eyes and hair that did not match. 
Some had very light blue eyes and black hair, and 
others had very dark eyes and light flaxen hair. It 
is a subject that should be kept in mind. Now 
with regard to correlation there is an undoubted 
coirelation between blindness and deafness and 
idiocy. I will not take up the time of the Commis- 
sion by going into details, but will refer you to an 
article upon that subject I published in " Science " 
of February the 13th, 1885, in a paper entitled " Is 
" there a Coirelation between Defects of the 
" Senses ?" I will just refer to a few of the general 

EXHIBIT TO QUERIES 21,464. 21,465 




remarks. There are 14£ times as many blind per- 
sons among the deaf and dumb in proportion to the 
population as there are in the community at large, 
and 46 times as many idiotic ; there are 14 times as 
many deaf mutes among the blind as there are in 
the population at large, and 19 times as many 

21.450. Then you think that there would be a 
peculiar fitness in this Royal Commission inquiring 
into the education of the idiotic, so far as they can 
be educated together, with the education of the 
blind and the deaf and dumb ?— No ;* I bring this 
forward as bearing on the causes of deafness. I say 
that these three things probably have some com- 
mon cause. I would say that there does not seem 
to be any great correlation between deafness and 
insanity, so far as the census returns show. My 
genealogical researches, on the other hand, in- 
dicate that while comparatively few deaf mutes 
are insane, insanity has appeared not infrequently 
among the brothers and sisters of ancestors of deaf- 
mutes. I would recommend this paper to the Com- 
mission. I present them with a copy of " Science* " 
containing it. I suggest there that it may be pos- 
sible, in a certain proportion of cases of blindness, 
deafness, and idiocy, that they may spring from a 
common cause, probably from arrested development 
of the nervous system. I find that it is not uncom- 
mon for deaf mutes, especially where they belong to 
a family having a number of deaf mutes, to have 
cousins, not brothers and sisters, who are idiots ; 
as if the defect had struck down in one bx'anch as 
deafness, and in the other as idiocy. In concluding 
this subject of the causes of congenital deafness, I 
think we must undoubtedly assume that in the ma- 
jority of cases some ancestral cause operates, what- 
ever it may be ; and I am ^ery much inclined to the 
belief that there is an arrest in the development of 
the nervous system. I find all around the points, 
where deaf mutes appear in large numbers, evi- 
dences of other disturbances in the nervous system, 
paralysis, chorea (St. Vitus's Dance), and epilepsy ; 
and it is probable that in regard to congenital deaf- 
ness in families, there is some cause in the nervous 
system that is inherited — it may not be deafness — 
but heredity plays a part. There is one other point 
associated with congenital deafness, and that is, 
variability. You will find abnormalities all round 
the points where you find numerous deaf mutes. I 
am specially struck with one point that may turn 
out to be nothing more than a coincidence when I 
come to take the per-centage, I allude to the pres- 
ence of twins and sometimes triplets in the families 
of the ancestors of large families of deaf mutes. 
I do not know what the association is, but it 
occurs so frequently in the families that I have 
been investigating as to have attracted the special 
attention of my correspondent, Mrs. Pratt, who 
first pointed it out to me. In that connexion, I 
may say that one of the Siamese Twins had deaf and 
dumb children. The Siamese Twins, in America, 
married two sisters, and one had deaf and dumb 
children. And in Martha's Vineyard, in Chilmark, 
where one person in every 25 of the population is a 
deaf mute, you have evidence of variability — various 
sex peculiarities which cannot very well be spoken 
of in the Commission ; and you have dwarfs, and 
you have six-fingered persons. 

21.451. (Dr. Campbell.) Can you form any idea 
of how soon you will be able to publish the results 
of this investigation ? — I cannot say. I have no 
idea. I have been at work upon it four years. I 
expect to publish one part of it this autumn. That 
is the part which refers to the deaf mutes in Martha's 

* I do not wish my reply to this query to go upon record 
in the negative. Reflection convinces me that the education 
of the feeble-minded should be inquired into by the British 
Government. I know from what I have seen in America that 
much can be done for the idiotic, and many that would other- 
wise be a burden upon the public can be taught to be self- 
supporting. The causes of idiocy are so inter-related to the 
causes of deafness and blindness that I think there would be 
a peculiar fitness in this Royal Commission inquiring into 
the condition of the id otic. 

Vineyard. That has proved to be an interesting Mr. 
field, being an island where consanguineous mar- A - ®- S eii - 
riages have occurred, and I have been able to trace 14 June 18 88. 

the ancestry. As you will observe by my reports, 

the ancestry is traced in every branch. That has 
been very difficult work, but I have got the ancestry 
traced up through 10 or 12 generations. The rest 
of the work may take years. 

21.452. (Mr. Woodall.) Where is Martha's Vine- 
yard 1 — In the southern part of Massachusetts ; it 
is one of our largest islands, between 50 and 60 
miles from Boston. 

21.453. (Chairman.) What is the population, 
about ? — The population of this little hamlet (Chil- 
mark), where deafness occurs is only 500, and there 
are 20 deaf mutes. I have a list of 72 deaf mutes 
born in that place, or whose ancestors came from 
there. But on the 1st of June, 1880, there were 20 
deaf mutes there to a population of 500, which is 
one in 25 of the population. 

21.454. (Mr. Woodall.) Without pursuing in any- 
thing like detail, what you refer to with regard to the 
peculiarities of sex, were they monstrosities ? — Yes, 
what are called hermaphrodites. And then there are 
other curious sex peculiarities. I will tell you one. 
In the Brown family of Henniker, New Hampshire, 
in which deafness has gone down through four gen- 
erations, there is a very remarkable sex peculiarity. 
The first deaf mute in this family is one of nine 
children, and they are all girls except the deaf mute, 
and he is a boy. In his mother's family they are 
all boys except one girl, and in her mother's family 
they are all girls except one boy. And in all these 
three cases the families are large. I will show you 
another case with regard to twins and triplets. 
That is the Allen family. That is a very curious 
case. In this case the deafness has gone down 
throngh three generations, and the third generation 
is very young. In the family containing the first 
deaf mute there were twelve brothers and sisters, 
including a case of twins. 

21.455. (Sir Tindal Robertson.) Was the deaf 
mute a twin? — No. Go up to the father of the 
family and you have among his brothers and sisters 
a pair of twins and a case of triplets. I am con- 
stantly struck with the appearance of twins. 
Whether they have any significance or not I do not 
know ; one is apt to be misled. It may be that 
twins and triplets are as common in the community 
at large ; but it is a point which is attracting my at- 
tention. In this same family you have correlation 
with idiocy. The first deaf mute has a brother who 
is insane ; then he has another brother who has one 
child insane and one child who is all right. That 
child has a child who is feeble-minded. Go up on 
the mother's side here. The mother had a brother 
and one of his children was feeble-minded. You 
find here is insanity again. All round the point 
where the deafness occurs you find evidences of 
something generally affecting the nervous system 
in connexion with the brain. In such families you 
sometimes find consanguineous marriage taking 
place. There is a case I have in which seven chil- 
dren are deaf mutes. There was no deafness in the 
ancestors that was known, and no consanguineous 

21.456. That does not stop pro-creation? — I do 
not think so. But in this case one of these seven deaf 
mutes married his first cousin and had a number of 
children who could all hear and speak, but three of 
them were feeble-minded. There again is some- 
thing to indicate that the thing intensified might be 
in the brain and not in the ears at all. 

21.457. (Chairman.) With regard to the educa- 
tion of the deaf and dumb in America, are there any 
special points on which you wish to dwell ; what are 
the main points that influence you in regard to your 
being in favor of the day school system rather than 
the special institution system of education ; what 
are the dangers to which you think the institution 
system open ? — There are a number of distinct lines 
of reasoning that all point as a conclusion to the 
advisability of increasing the number of day schools 



Mr. and makiDg them as small as possible.* In theory 
A. O. Bell, tjjg jjggj; 8C n 00 i f or a (j ea f child is a school with only 

14 June 1888 one * n *' ' ' 3U * i °^ course ^ * s impracticable ; it is too 

expensive. I believe the best way to arrive at the 

solution of such a problem as the character of the 
best school is to formulate your ideal school, recog- 
nising that it is impracticable, but coming up as 
near to it as you can. In my " Memoir upon the 
" formation of a deaf variety of the human race," I 
have formulated one of the principal reasons for the 
advisability in my opinion of extending the day 
school system on page 45. I say " I think all will 
"agree that the evidence shows a tendency to the 
" formation of a deaf variety of the human race in 
" America. What remedial measures can be taken 
" to lessen or check this tendency ? We shall con- 
'• sider the subject under two heads : (1) repressive ; 
" (2) preventive measures." Repressive measures I 
abandon. On page 46 I take up the question of 
preventive measures, and I would request the very 
close attention of the Commission to this point, for 
it really forms the central point of my idea of the 
day schools with regard to preventive measures 
(that is in regard to preventing the inter-marriages 
of the deaf and dumb). I say : — " The most prom- 
" ising method of lessening the evil appears to lie 
"in the adoption of preventive measures. In our 
" search for such measures we should be guided by 
" the following principle: (1) Determine the causes 
' ; that promote inter-marriages among the deaf and 
" dumb ; and (2) remove them. The immediate 
" cause is undoubtedly the preference that adult 
" deaf mutes exhibit for the companionship of deaf 
" mutes rather than that of hearing persons. 
" Among the causes that contribute to bring about 
" this preference we may note : (1) segregation for 
" the purposes of education ; and (2) the use, as a 
" means of communication, of a language which is 
" different from that of the people. These, then, 
" are two of the points that should be avoided in 
" the adoption of preventive measures. Nearly all 
" the other causes I have investigated are ultimately 
" referable to these. Segregation really lies at the 
" root of the whole matter; for from this the other 
" causes have themselves been evolved by the oper- 
" ation of the natural law of adaptation to the en- 
" vironment. We commence our efforts on behalf 
" of the deaf mute by changing his social environ- 
" ment. The tendency is, then, towards accommo- 
" dation to the new conditions. In process of time 
" the adaptation becomes complete; and when, at 
" last, we restore him to the world as an adult, he 
" finds that the social conditions to which he has 
" become accustomed do not exist outside of his 
" school-life. His efforts are then directed to the 
" restoration of these conditions, with the result of 
" inter-marriage and a tendency to the formation of 
" a deaf-mute community." 

21,458. {Mr. Woodall.) Is that so?— Yes. "The 
" grand central principle that should guide us then 
" in our search for preventive measure should be the 
" retention of the normal environment duri?ig the pe- 
" riodof education. The natural tendency towards 
" adaptation would then co-operate with instruc- 
" tion to produce accommodation to the permanent 
" conditions of life. The direction of change should, 
" therefore, be towards the establishment of small 
" schools and the extension of the day school plan. 
" The practicability of any great development of day 
" schools will depend upon the possibility of con- 
" ducting very small schools of this kind economically 
" to the State ; for the scattered condition of the 
" deaf and dumb in the community precludes the 
" idea of large day schools, excepting in the great 
" centres of population. The principle referred to 
" above indicates that such schools should be of the 
" minimum size possible ; for the school that would 
" most perfectly fulfil the condition required would 
" contain only one deaf child. It also points to the 
" advisability of co-education with hearing children ; 
" but this is not practicable to any great extent. No 

* See replies to Queries 21,457 ; 21,464; 21,468; 21,469. 

" instruction can be given through the ear, and com- 
" plete co-education would only therefore be possible 
" by a change in the methods of teaching hearing 
" children. It is useless to expect that such a change 
" would be made for the benefit of the deaf and 
" dumb on account of their limited number. Partial 
" co-education is, however, possible, for some studies 
" are pursued in the common schools in which in- 
" formation is gained through the eye. For 
" instance, deaf mutes could profitably enter the 
" same classes with hearing children for practice in 
" writing, drawing, map-drawing, arithmetic on the 
" black-board, sewing, &c. For other subjects 
" special methods of instruction would be necessary, 
" and these demand the employment of special 
" teachers. They do not, however, necessitate 
" special schools or buildings, and a small room in 
" a public school building would accommodate as 
" many deaf children as one teacher could success- 
" fully iustruct. Considerations of economy render 
" advisable the appropriation of a room of this kind, 
" as the appliances of a large school might thus be 
" obtained without special outlay. The averageper 
" capita cost of the education of a deaf child in an 
" American institution is $22328 c. per annum. 
" Very small day schools could be maintained at no 
" greater cost." 

21.459. Is that over the whole of the States ?— 
That is the average arrived at from the average of 
34 institutions ; they are not my figures ; I quote 
them from the principal of the Illinois Institution in 
1882. Perhaps Dr. Gallaudet's testimony will be 
more reliable. 

21.460. 250 and 260 dollars I find was paid by 
the States generally per capita ? — You will find the 
table from which the per capita is calculated in the 
Appendix, Table X. 

21.461. {Chairman.) I wanted to ask you this 
question. In Germany they have a large number of 
institutions, and they have a certain number of every 
day schools ; but where the oral system is taught 
there is no inter-marriage practically by the deaf 
and dumb ; and therefore while you are advocating, 
in order to prevent the inter-marriage of the deaf 
and dumb, day schools instead of institutions, would 
it not be far more simple to follow the example of 
Germany, and would you not consider that if you 
give them speech, you take away the great induce- 
ment to inter-marriage. Or is it practicable to do 
that. If it is not impracticable it is more simple, 
but is it practicable ? — We do not find the facts in 
America the same as you state. The pupils of our 
oral schools do marry deaf mutes. 

21.462. But do they do so exclusively, or do they 
not also after they leave school mix with those on 
the sign system 1 — A larger per-centage of the pupils 
on the oral system marry hearing persons than of 
those of the sign system. 

21.463. I assume that you wish to prevent this 
calamity happening of the formation of a deaf vari- 
ety of the human race ; the question is whether you 
can arrive at that in the best way by your system, 
that is to say, by doing away with institutions, and 
having day schools, so as to prevent the possibility 
of the deaf and dumb being thrown together so 
much when young. Would you not attain your 
object better by assisting their learning speech as 
far as possible ? — I do not advocate the abolishment 
of institutions. I am only on the line of researches. 
I propose to keep our institutions. 

21.464. It is a very serious question you raised of 
doing away with the institutions altogether 1 — We 
could not do that ; that is a step backwards. It may 
be done by the process of natural selection. I do 
not propose to do that ; I propose to supplement 
the institutions by a large development of small day 
schools, and leave in each state at least one institu- 
tion which shall accommodate the children who 
cannot attend day schools ; and, where it is practi- 
cable in any State, let the day schools be affiliated 
with the public schools so that the children shall be 
in the public school buildings, in a special room 
under a special teacher, but thrown in contact with 



the bearing children in every possible way. One of 
the lines of argument that lead to the same result is 
my desire that all deaf children should be taught to 
use their vocal organs, and to speak. The conditions 
in an institution are unfavourable to this, because 
there are few people there who can hear them 
speak ; so that if they are placed in an institution 
the English language is of little use to them ; and 
if you want a child to make a rapid advance in the 
English language you must make the language of 

21.465. Do you think it would be an advantage to 
the deaf and dumb children to be brought in contact 
with speaking children in play hours ? — Undoubt- 
edly ; I am very strongly of that opinion. 

21.466. In London, besides our institutions, we 
have a certain number of school board schools, in' 
which the deaf and dumb children are in many cases 
in a part of the same building where the ordinary 
hearing children are taught, and to a certain extent 
they mix with them. If that were to be carried out as 
it could be carried out in large towns, and is being 
carried out in England in large towns, it would 
obviate your suggestion for the deaf and dumb being 
kept together in a separate class ? — Yes. 

21.467. Do you see any objection to that system ? 
— No ; I do not believe you can carry on co-edu- 
cation with hearing children. I do not think that 
that is a practicable thing for a large number ; 
there are individual cases where it may be done. 
But I think that partial co-education is not only 
possible but practicable ; and it would be an ad- 
vantage to the deaf to have a special teacher in a 
special room in the same building with a large 
number of ordinary children. 

21.468. Do you think it advisable, after deaf 
and dumb have had a sufficient education (I am 
assuming that they are being educated in speech) 
to enable them to go out into the world, after they 
had had eight or ten years in a private school or 
with separate education, which you admit they 
must have, that they should if possible go to 
some technical school where they can be taught in 
common with other children the rudiments of prac- 
tical mechanics and drawing, and other elements of 
industrial trades, say from 14 to 16 or 16 to 18. 
Do you think that that is a step in the right direc- 
tion ? — I think it is. In the day schools in Boston 
no industrial training is provided by the city, and 
the principal, through a private fund, has sent a 
number of her boys to the Institute of Tech- 
nology, where the Russian workshop system is in- 
troduced, where the pupils are not taught a specific 
trade, but are taught the elements, the use of tools 
and the elements of a trade ; and these boys have 
found no difficulty in getting good employment. 
There are two other points that occur to me with 
regard to day schools. A boy who is brought up 
in close association with a large number of hearing 
children will derive a great advantage in adult life 
from his knowledge of these hearing children, even 
though he never communicates with them. They 
will be the men and women among whom his lot in 
life is cast, and they will help him in getting on in 
life ; they will remember that he was a schoolfellow 
and will help him. 

21.469. That must be on the oral system, other- 
wise there would be no means of communication 
between them? — Let there beany means. of com- 
munication that they can get, or if they do not com-, 
municate at all it will still be an advantage. Boys 
are not always rough. When these children grow 
up to be men and women they will remember the 
deaf children, even if they never spoke a word to 
them ; and these deaf children will have friends in 
{he hearing community who will help them to busi- 

ness and places ; whereas, if they kept away from -Mh 
hearing persons and go out into the world without A - O^Beu. 
knowing any, they find it much harder to get em- 14 June jggg 

ployment. The other point is still more impor- 

tant ; it is this, that the institution plan does not 
bring half the deaf children under instruction. You 
can get the children into day school at a younger 
age, and make the institutions places of higher learn- 
ing. You can reach the children at an age when 
they cannot go from home ; you can carry the school 
to the door of the home. The institution system 
of America has not brought under instruction one- 
half the deaf children, and teachers tell me the same 
elsewhere. The reason is the same ; that the par- 
ents will not part with their children. I should 
propose to supplement the institution plan there- 
fore by these little feeders which will reach those 
pupils at a younger age. They will occupy a field 
that the institutions cannot touch and will prove of 
advantage to the institutions by bringing the pupils 
into the institutions at a much further state of ad- 
vancement than if they had had no previous in- 
struction at all. 

21.470. I see that. in your American schools the 
industrial department is introduced into most of 
them. I see from the evidence that out of the 
whole number only about 14 have no industrial 
departments; eight of these are day schools, so 
that only six have no industrial departments in 
connexion with them ; I suppose that is so ? — I be- 
lieve so. 

21.471. How late do the majority of your pupils 
remain in the institutions ; how long do you keep 
them 1 — I do not think that I am competent to give 
an opinion as to that. But I may say in regard to 
the pursuits of the deaf and dumb in adult life, that 
it is very obvious that they do not follow the trades 
which they are taught in institutions. And yet, as 
a class, they are self-supporting. How did they 
acquire the trades by which they earn their liveli- 
hood and which were not taught them in school ? 
In ordinary shops, by simple observation and ex- 
perience. That is a very important point as to how 
far it is advantageous to teach specific trades in in- 
stitutions ; because the institution is necessarily 
limited to the choice of very few trades. A boy, 
whatever his abilities may be, is obliged to become 
a boot maker or a cabinet maker ; whereas he might 
prefer something else. And all these deaf children 
go into competition with one another where they are 
not wanted. I think that the tendency should be 
to scatter the deaf and dumb in different employ- 
ments rather than to bring them all into two or 
three trades ; and that it would be better to teach 
the elements of trades in institutions rather than 
specific trades. I would commend to the attention 
of the Commission on that subject a paper by the 
Rev. Edward Everett Hale, of Boston, as to what oc- 
cupations and trades should be taught to the orphans 
in our orphan asylums. It should have a practical 
bearing on the education of the deaf. It is reprinted 
in the American Annals of the Deaf. I can say, in 
one word, that Mr. Hale advocates giving the highest 

21.472. Secondary training ? — Yes, to orphans or 
public charities, because they will come into less 
competition with the outside world than if they are 
taught lower occupations, and the same thing ap- 
plies to the deaf and dumb. Art training is of great 
importance with regard to them. I would recom- 
mend the Commission to look at that article, and I 
will furnish the reference to it. [See Annals for 
January 1887, Vol. XXXII., pp. 16 to 20. " What 
kind of Trades shall be taught?" By the Rev. 
Edward Everett Hale, D.D., of Boston, Mass.] 

The witness withdrew. 
Adjourned to Thursday next at 12 o'clock. 



6, Old Palace Yard, S.W. 
Thursday, 21st June, 1888. 

Present : 
The Eight Hon. the LORD EGERTON OF TATTON in the Chair. 

Admibal Sir E. Sotheby, K. C. B. 
Sir Tindal Robertson, MP. 
B. St. John Ackers, Esq. 
T. R. Armitage, Esq., M.D. 
F. J. Campbell, Esq., LL.D. 

William Woodall, Esq., MP. 
The Rev. W. Blomefield Sleight, M.A. 
The Rev. Charles Mansfield Owen, M.A. 
L. Van Oven, Esq. 

Charles E. D. Black, Esq., 


Mr. A. Graham Bell recalled and further examined. 

A. O. Bell. 

21 June 1888. 

21,473. ( Chairman.) I believe you desire to amplify 
some of the answers which you gave in the course of 
your examination before the Commission last week ? — 
Referring first of all to my answer to question 21,- 
383 in regard to the classification of the deaf, where 
I propose to classify the deaf by two elements only, 
the age at which the deafness occured, and the degree 
of the defect, that classification is sufficient for all 
purposes of education, but it is insufficient for inves- 
tigation relating to inheritance ; and I would propose 
that you should again divide the deaf into two broad 
classes according as they have deaf relatives or not. 
That is for the purpose of studying the inheritance 
of deafness, and guiding our deaf pupils in their 
choice of partners in life. No one desires to bring 
misfortune upon his offspring, and if the deaf were 
so classified as to distinguish those who would 
be likely to transmit their defect, from those who 
would not, many of the more intelligent of our pupils 
might avoid forming unions tbat would increase the 
chances of their having deaf children. (See foot-note.) 

Classification of the Deaf into Four Gboups as a 
Guide to Mabkiage. 

Period of Life when the 
Deafness Occurred. 

Character of the Deafness. 

Sporadic Deafness. Family Deafness.' 

Before birth (congenital) 


After birth (non-congenital) 

* For want of a better term I characterise non-sporadic deafness as 
" Family Deafness " — that is deafness that seems to run In families— deaf- 
ness tbat affects more than one member of the family. The hereditary 
tendency is most marked in persons who belong to families containing 
more than one deaf-mute. The greater the number of deaf relatives a 
child has, the greater is the danger of his handing down his defect to his 

Persons belonging to Class 1 do not manifest a tendency to 
transmit the defect to their children. 

Persons belonging to Class 2 do manifest such a tendency, 
bnt Dot so strongly as persons belonging to Classes 3 and 4. 

Persons belonging to Classes 3 and 4 (especially Class 4) 
manifest a very decided tendency to propagate the defect. 

Persons belonging to Classes 2, 3, and 4 (and their hearing 
brothers and sisters) increase their liability to produce deaf 
offspring by marrying persons belonging to Classes 2,3, and 4 
(or their hearing brothers and sisters); and diminish it by 
marrying persons belonging to Class 1 (or their hearing 
brothers and sisters), or by marrying hearing persons who 
have no deaf relatives. Persons belonging to Classes 2, 3, 
and 4 increase their liability to produce deaf offspring by 
marrying blood relations — especially if these relatives are on 
the deaf side of the family. 

21.474. That of course is merely a special view of 
it for a special purpose ? — Yes. The other classifi- 
cation is sufficient for educational purposes. 

21.475. Would you have any objection to our put- 
ting a copy of your diagram into our report 1 ? — I 
shall be only too delighted for the Committee to make 
any use they may desire of my material. Proceed- 
ing with what I was saying I would propose to divide 
the deaf into two great classes, the sporadic and the 
non-sporadic. That is better than the distinction of 
congenital and non-congenital. We cannot decide 
who were and who were not born deaf ; it is very in- 

21.476. Not absolutely definitely ?— No, it is not 

21.477. Do you mean to say that a surgeon cannot 
tell that ? — I cannot presume to say that. 

21.478. I want to know from what point of view 
it is impossible ; do you mean that it is impossible 
to do so with any degree of certainty, or that it is 
impossible from a medical point of view, by amedical 
man? — Medical men would be better able to answer 
that question than I am. But the difficulty here is 
that we cannot test the hearing of an infant ; we 
cannot ascertain that a child is deaf for a long time 
after its birth, therefore in studying the inheritance 
of deafness, the proper classification would be that 
of sporadic and non-sporadic. As a general rule 
sporadic cases do noi, tend to have the deafness in- 
herited; that is to say, cases in which a single 
member of the family is deaf, whether reported con- 
genitally deaf or not, have a much less tendency to 
transmit the defect than cases where three or four 
members of a family are deaf and dumb, even where 
the latter were not born deaf. 

21.479. There is another question bearing upon 
that point which I should like to ask you, and which 
is alluded to in your paper in " Science," that is to 
say with regard to a large number of deaf mutes who 
have been classed as idiots ; and you say that that 
fact rather disturbs some of the returns ; does the 
fact of their being classified as idiots, instead of being 
classified as deaf mutes, to any extent disturb the 
classification ? — I think not to any great extent; but 
that subject has been very fully investigated by the 
officers of the census. At the same time I think 
that a large number of deaf mutes are returned as 
idiotic who are not idiotic. On the other hand, it is 
probable that many idiots are reported as deaf who 
are not deaf. The number of doubly afflicted persons 
may therefore be decidedly less than it appears in 
the census. We cannot safely assume that the re- 
turns of any isolated fact are complete. 



21.480. That leads me to ask the question whether 
there are not many children who are simply deaf sent 
to idiot schools ? — No doubt. 

21.481. Are there not more than several? — I am 
inclined to think so. 

21.482. And then again, on the other hand, idiotic 
children are sometimes sent to deaf and dumb insti- 
tutions? — Yes, but tbey are generally rejected. The 
difficulty of ascertaining the correctness of the re- 
turns relating to the idiotic deaf and dumb is the 
difficulty of ascertaining whether the observers are 
-competent or not to decide upon the mental condi- 
tion of a deaf and dumb child. There is very con- 
siderable doubt as to the number ; but the number 
is so enormous, as compared with the whole of the 
deaf and dumb population, as to show that the 
feeble-minded must be very much more common 
-among the deaf and dumb than among the hearing. 

21.483. You spoke of the correlation between the 
deaf mutes, the blind, and the idiotic ; and you think 
that those defects may possibly all arise from a 
■common cause ? — That is my feeling. I feel that by 
a study of the causes of these forms of defects we 
shall find some common cause involving the pro- 
duction of congenital deafness. Then there is one 
further point which I wish to refer to in my answer 
to question 21,402, which is a question I rather 
avoided answering. It has reference to the schools 
where auricular instruction is practised as a separate 
department. I am asked whether they are leading 
schools in America, and I say that I do not like to 
discriminate between one institution and another. 

21.484. That was not my object in asking the 
-question ; I merely wanted to know whether they 
were schools of great calibre, size, and so forth ? — I 
had a feeling that this answer of mine rather cast 
reflections upon these schools by implication, and 
as I think the members of this Commission are en- 
titled to have my honest views upon all questions, I 
should like to speak for one moment of those four 
schools which adopt auricular instruction. (1.) The 
Nebraska Institution is one of our leading institu- 
tions, and that is where auricular instruction was 
first introduced as a distinct method. 

21.485. That is the view I meant to convey in 
speaking of the leading schools, in the sense in which 
you are using the term now, that is to say, one of 
the principal schools? — The principal of that school 
is a man whose opinions are always treated with 
respect by all members of the profession. He is a 
man who states his views in moderate terms, and he 
is very careful and guarded in his utterances, so 
that whatever he says regarding auricular instruc- 
tion you may believe. 

21.486. Has he said anything in his pamphlet 
bearing upon this point ? — Yes, all these four schools 
have made reports which are printed here. (2.) Miss 
McCowen, who was one of the teachers in the first 
auricular class in the Nebraska Institution, became 
dissatisfied with the results of the auricular system 
in a combined institution, and thought that the 
system would be more successful in an oral school. 
She therefore started in Chicago a voice and hearing 
school, a private school. She makes a report also 
upon auricular teaching. In regard to Miss McCowen, 
I may say that she is an enthusiast. Her heart is 
full to overflowing with her work, and this should 
be borne in mind in weighing accurately whatever 
she may have to say. Her report seems to be very 
carefully worded, and I am sure it may be thoroughly 
relied upon. 

21.487. What is the name of the principal of the 
Nebraska Institution ? — Mr. Gillespie. I may state 
that a committee was appointed by the last confer- 
ence of articulation teachers to investigate the whole 
of the grounds of this method of teaching.* I was 

*For Keport of this Committee, written by Professor 
Oordon, see Annals, Vol. xxx, p. 59. 

chairman of that committee, and upon it were also Mr. 
Professor Gordon, of the National College for Deaf- A - g .- Belu 
Mutes, and Mr. Clarke, of the New York Institution. 21 j une i888. 

(3.) Experiments were made in the New Yorklnsti- 

tution by Mr. Clarke and Mr. Currier, the special 
teacher of articulation in that institution, and those 
experiments resulted in the formation of an auricular 
department in the New York Institution. Mr. Currier 
sends a report. I do not know much about Mr. 
Currier ; he seems to be a good teacher of articular 
tion. I do not know anything about his public writ- 
ings, but I think from personal conversation with 
him, that his statements may be fully relied upon. 
(4.) Then Mr. Clarke, who was on the committee, 
and who was one of the teachers of the New York 
Institution, has recently become the principal of the 
Arkansas Institution, and an auricular department 
has been conducted in that school, and Mr. Clarke 
sends us a report. Before Mr. Clarke went to the Ar- 
kansas Institution it was in an unsatisfactory condi- 
tion. It has yet a reputation to make. Mr. Clarke 
has made an honourable record as a teacher, and 
from my personal knowledge of him I can fully com- 
mend his report to the Commission. Referring now 
to what appears at question 21,439, I am happy to 
be able to present the Commission with a very full 
classification of the causes of deafness. In fact I 
have here a short analysis of the chief points relat- 
ing to the deaf and dumb, which, if the Commission 
desire it, I will incorporate in my evidence. This 
is an analysis of the tenth census of the United States 
relating to the deaf and dumb results, compiled 
from published statements of Rev. Fred. H. Wines, 
expert and special agent of the tenth census for the 
defective, dependent, and delinquent classes :-•— 

Deaf and Dumb of the United States (1880). 
Where found. 

At home or in private families 

In schools (excluding day schools) 

In almshouses 

In benevolent institutions 

In hospitals or asylums for the insane 

In prisons 



Under 6 years of age - 
6 to 16 years of age 
Over 16 and under 21 
21 years of age and over 












- 5,013 

- 17,382 

- 33,878 

Age when deafness occurred : — 

Born deaf 

- 12,155 

Under 5 years of age 

- 7,289 

5 to 9 years of age 


10 to 14 years of age 


15 years of age 



- 11,405 

Total - 





A. G.JBell. 

21 June 1888. 

Causes of deafness : — 

Not stated 




Causes of adventitious deafness : — 
Causes assigned, accepted and tabu- 
lated ----- 9,209 
Causes assigned, rejected as too vague 
or improbable to be counted or 
classified - - - - 978 

No cause assigned - - - 131 


- 10,318 

Causes of adventitious deafness assigned with morj or 
less definitiveness aud probability in the following cases : — 
Accident - 593 

Diseases of ear - - - - 366 

Other diseases - 8,250 



'21,488. What would be the other diseases that 
would generally be reckoned as causes? — I have 
here an analysis of all the causes of adventitious 
deafness that have been accepted in the United 
States, which have been accepted and tallied by the 
officers of the 1880 census. They are as follows : — 



- 2,856 

Scarlet fever 


- 2,695 

Malaria and typhoid fevers 


- 571 



- 448 

Fevers (non-malarial) 


- 381 

Catarrah and catarrhal fevers 


- 324 

Other inflammations of air-passages 

- 142 



- 323 

Abscesses - - - 


- 281 



- 195 

Nervous affections 


- 170 

Scrofula - 


- 131 




Blows and contusions 



Inflammations of the ear - 









Teething - 



Mumps - - - 



Small-pox and variola 









Water in the ear - 






Noises and concussions - 



Tumors - - - 






Struck by lightning 



Foreign bodies in the ear 



Salt rheum 



Malformation of the ear - 



Syphilis - - - 








- 9,209 

21.489. You spoke of making one of your divisions 
as between those who are deaf at certain ages as 
giving you a clue to those who would be able to use 
speech to begin with. As I gather all those after 
five would be those who have remains of speech to 
begin with ? — Yes. 

21.490. It is important to know the number of 
those who have remains of speech left, in order to 
know the number of those who would be suitable for 
oral schools ; I suppose you may say that all those 
above three years of age would be suitable 1 — In my 
opinion those who become deaf in early childhood 
(two and less than five years) constitute a doubtful 
class. They have all spoken, but the habit of speech 
has not been fully formed, so that they readily forget 
how to articulate unless constantly encouraged to 
speak at home. Many of them easily regain the power 
of speech by instruction in school. Whether or not, 
however, they retain remnants of speech when ad- 
mitted to school, their minds are in a much more 
mature condition than those who became deaf in in- 
fancy (under two years) and they should not there- 
fore be classed with them. Those who become deaf 

in late childhood (five or more years of age) certainly 
retain some recollection of speech, even though 
they may have been neglected at home. Their speech 
is very readily preserved and improved, and they 
speedily acquire the power of speech-reading by eye. 

21.491. What you have given us now will be 
sufficiently near for our purposes ; you have got 
those at five years old ? — Yes. 

21.492. You have already told us that it is difficult 
to say whether they are actually congenitally deaf,, 
or whether they have become deaf before they 
speak ? — You have simply to accept the returns. It 
may be that a large number of those who became 
deaf in infancy were congenitally deaf ; but we can 
not ascertain it certainly. I think that members of 
the Commission may rely upon this analysis of 
causes of adventitious deafness, these causes having 
been analysed by experts. As a general rule the 
causes assigned cannot be relied upon in all our 
institution reports. The causes are very vague and 
improbable in a large proportion of cases, and as 
you see even in the census returns, there are a very 
large number, nearly a thousand, rejected as im- 
probable. The others were submitted to competent 
medical inspection and classified in this way. I have 
here another table which I have prepared, and which 
I think the Commission might like to have. It is a 
table of comparison showing the growth of Ameri- 
can schools for the deaf from 1857 to 1887 — statis- 
tics compiled from the American Annals of the 
Deaf, and it is as follows : — 


otal Number 
of Schools. 


'otal number 
of Pupils. ' 

umber of 
Pupils taught 

otal Number 
of Teachers. ' 

umber of 


umber of 





















































































































— . 






























• 155 























21.493. Are you at all aware how far the tables 
in the American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb in deaf 
and dumb institutions throughout the world are 
accurate ; have you ever made it your business to 
test in any way the accuracy of those tables ? — Yes, 
they are considered by the profession to be 
thoroughly reliable for America. The AmericanAn- 
nals of the Deaf is the official organ of communica- 
tion, and is supported by the institutions. Its in- 
formation is collected every year by a circular letter 
of inquiry addressed to the institutions, and the 
institutions recognise the importance of correct 
statements ; and I think that these statistics may 
be considered as being thoroughly reliable for 

21.494. I see that the number of articulation 
teachers increase in a much larger ratio than the 
number of sign teachers ; do you draw any deduc- 
tions from that ; is there any proportionate increase 
in the number of articulation pupils, or has it been 
found necessary to have a larger number of teachers 
so as to have smaller classes* — I have not analysed 



these returns, but I think it is undoubtedly the case 
that articulation teachers have a smaller number of 

21.495. There is a proportionately larger increase 
in the number of articulation teachers as compared 
with the number of articulation pupils. I want to 
know whether it was for the causes that I asked you 
about you do not draw any deduction from that? — 
No ; I do not draw any deduction, because the 
number of articulation teachers has only been noted 
in the Annals for two years past. Of course, artic- 
ulation teachers were employed before, but we do not 
know their number. We cannot safely generalise 
from only two observations. The institutions have 
devoted a great deal more attention to speech re- 
cently, but where you find one articulation teacher 
for 60 or more pupils, the articulation cannot be very 
perfect. In such cases the pupils come to the 
articulation teacher for only a short period of time 
every day. 

21.496. {Dr. Campbell.) As a rule, how many do 
they have at once ? — In the oral schools I think the 
number ten is supposed to be about the limit that 
<;an be satisfactorily handled. I should like here to 
refer to my answer 21,380 in regard to the growth 
of articulation teaching in the United States. I find 
that the totals from wbich I calculated the percent- 
ages are the total number of pupils who were present 
•on the 1st of December in the year, instead of the 
total number present during the year, which is a larger 
number and affects the percentage. The number 
taught articulation is correct, but the effect of the 
-error is to increase the percentage of those who are 
taught articulation, and to reduce the percentage of 
those who are not taught articulation. 

21.497. {Chairman.) Have you any table to put 
in with regard to this point ? — I have a table show- 
ing the growth of articulation teaching in the United 
States, which is as follows : — 
















Not taught 



age not 



4,241 , 






5,183 ' 












* The totals for 1883 and 1888 are not complete, but the number of cases 
is so large as probably to yield a correct percentage. It may be possible, 
however, that the institutions which failed to make returns were those 
which paid least attention to articulation, in which case the percentage 
taught articulation may be excessive. 

I have corrected the totals. I give you now the 
total for 1888 from my returns. You will find the 
full returns for articulation teaching in the pamphlet 
that I have handed to you commencing on page 176, 
and going on to page 177 ; but as many of the re- 
turns were imperfect, it was in^ossible to arrive at 
a sum total. I have therefore added together only 
those that made returns from which we could have 
the total number of pupils, and the total number 
taught articulation. The total number of pupils 
that I have included in my table is 4,944, and of these 
2,213 were taught speech. I have here the percent- 
age ; it is over 44. 

21,498. {Dr. Campbell.) They are taught speech ; 
but not the pure oral system? — It includes all who 
are represented as having been taught articulation. I 
have not been able, on account of the labour involved 
in analysing the returns, to find out any further de- 
tail than that it is 44 - 8 per cent. The percentages 
returned for 1883 and 1888 are very much larger 
than they are in the intervening period. These two 
periods were ascertained by circular letters of in- 
quiry from private parties. The 1883 percentage was 
deduced from the replies to a circular letter from 
the principal of the Clarke Institution. My 1888 per- 
centage was deduced from the answers to my circular 
letter of inquiry, the intervening numbers come from 
the totals shown in the Annals. 

21.499. {Mr. St. John Ackers.) Does not that -V>\ 
show that the returns in the Annals are under the A - ®- B eil - 
mark ? — Or that the others are over the mark. 2 i June 1888. 

21.500. Which is it, in your opinion? — I am in- 

clined to think that if any are incorrect the others 

are over the mark. 

21.501. {Mr. Woodall.) Can you express an 
opinion as to whether at any time there has been a 
sudden growth in the matter of oral teaching, and 
at another time a diminution ; have there been any- 
thing like waves of popularity up and down ? — It 
may be possible. My opinion is that the increase in 
oral teaching in our sign institutions (the combined 
institutions) has been due very largely to outward 
pressure, to the pressure of public opinion applied 
from without, and there have been periods when 
there has been a greater amount of popular atten- 
tion directed to the subject of oral teaching than at 
others ; and it may possibly be that the number has 
fluctuated in the way shown. 

21.502. {Chairman.) With regard to the results 
of intermarriage with the deaf, I gather from these 
returns which you have handed to us, that there is 
a considerable variety of opinion as to the results 
of such marriages, and in the case of some of the 
scientific witnesses while admitting the perfect pos- 
sibility of such a result, do they not contend that 
it would be only after a succession of marriages of 
that character through a great number of genera- 
tions, and under circumstances which would hardly 
be likely to recur in every generation ? — I want you 
to say with regard to those points how far you agree 
and how far you disagree with the views expressed 
in some of these answers not as to the possibility, 
but as to the' practical probability of such a thing 
occurring ; because that is what as practical men 
we have to see, whether it is practically likely to hap- 
pen, not so much whether it is theoretically possible. 
I am with you on that point, but I want rather to 
test your view as to the practical probability of it? — 
Upon this question of the intermarriages of the 
deaf, and the production of deaf offspring, I would 
like to deal with facts and not with opinions. I 
have in this little pamphlet presented to the attention 
of the Commission the evidence of scientific experts 
on the subject of heredity for you to ascertain the 
conditions that will certainly result in the produc- 
tion of a deaf race if they are carried out ; and then 
I want to direct your attention to the facts to as- 
certain whether they are carried out or not. There 
are certain conditions which all these scientific ex- 
perts unite in declaring will certainly establish a 
deaf race, — it being only a question of time. 

21.503. But time is an important element ? — Yes, 
time is an important element. It requires a number 
of generations. The conditions are these : that large 
numbers of the congenitally deaf shall marry one 
another, and that their congenitally deaf children, if 
they have any, shall again marry congenitally deaf ; 
and that their congenitally deaf children, if they 
have any, shall again marry congenitally deaf and so 
on ; that that alone will result in an increasing pro- 
portion of deaf offspring in each succeeding genera- 
tion, and ultimately after a certain length of time, 
which we cannot calculate at the present time, a true 
breed or race will be formed. It is a very impor- 
tant question to find out whether that condition is 
being fulfilled and it is being fulfilled. 

21.504. But does not that suppose that in each 
generation in order to come to an absolute variety 
of the human race the deaf mutes must inter- 
marry ? — Yes, or marry hearing persons belonging 
to families in which deafness is hereditary. 

21.505. Because directly the line is broken you 
start afresh again, and the chances are by so much 
more diminished of the eventual creation of a deaf 
variety of the human race ; you admit . that I sup- 
pose? — -Yes, no doubt the chances are diminished, 
but you do not have to start enth-ely afresh again. 
You have simply diminished the hereditary tendency 
which may still exist in a much stronger degree than 
in normal families. 



Mr. 21,506. Is not that a disturbing element in the 

A . G. B elt, calculation. The chances are of their marrying a 

21Junel888 l )erson wno * s no ^ deaf &n & dumb? — Yes, if that 

element entered largely into the calculation. But I 

would like to call your attention to the facts. 

21.507. What we want to know is what has hap- 
pened ; to what extent that constant intermarriage 
from one generation to another of the deaf and 
dumb has occurred and how far the results have is- 
sued from those marriages ? — The percentage of the 
deaf and dumb who marry hearing persons is entirely 
insignificant now ; they nearly all marry deaf mutes. 

21.508. Is that so 1 — It is so. I deal with facts 
and not with theory. I have taken a great deal of 
trouble to investigate the subject, and if you will 
allow me I will bring forward my facts. That is the 
point. The deaf children of deaf mutes are not 
marrying hearing persons, they are marrying deaf 

21.509. Shall we be able to understand this part 
of your evidence without tables'? — Entirely, and it 
will not take up much of your time. 

21.510. We want the conclusions founded upon 
facts ? — I want to give you facts exclusively, and 
nothing else. In my memoir on page 16 I gave an 
analysis in Table XX. of 1,089 deaf mutes who have 
married. These deaf mutes are taken from the New 
England States, from New York State, from Ohio 
State, from Indiana State, and from Illinois State. 
Of these 1,089 deaf mutes, 856, or 786 per cent., 
were recorded to have married deaf mutes, and 233, 
or 21 - 4 per cent., married hearing persons. Then 
in Table XXI. I range them according to the period 
of birth. Of those who were born before 1810, 129 
are recorded to have married. Of these 72 married 
deaf mutes, that is 558 per cent. " Of those born 
between 1810 and 1839, 807 per cent, married deaf 
mutes. Of those born between 1840 and 1859, 841 
per cent, married deaf mutes. Of those born after 
1860 (and that does not bring it down to very recent 
times), 91 7 per cent, married deaf mutes. In my 
memoir I queried that percentage because it was 
based upon only 12 cases. But now let us examine 
the volume of evidence from America of the Illinois 
Institution, which gives us a larger number of cases 
of intermarriages of the deaf. The paragraph that 
I refer to is on page 57, and it is in these words : 
" Of the deaf mutes who have been connected with 
" the institution as pupils and have left it, 272 have 
" married deaf mutes, and 21 have married hearing 
" persons." That is about 93 per cent, married deaf 

21.511. {Chairman.) Further down I see it says: 
" It is interesting to know that among all these only 
" 16 have deaf mute children " ? — I should like you 
to calculate the percentage. The absolute number 
is not so important as the relative number. Sup- 
posing that you take an equal number of marriages 
of healing persons, how many deaf children should 
there be? There should not be one. 

21.512. (J)r. Campbell.) Does the percentage 
which you have just given, 93 per cent, or whatever 
it is, mean so many persons, or many marriages ; is 
it man and wife inclusive? — It is the percentage of 
the pupils who have married, that is to say, of all 
the pupils who have married, about 93 per cent, 
married deaf mutes. If they married pupils in the 
same institution it would reduce the number of 
families ; and if they married deaf mutes in other 
institutions the number of persons coincides with 
the number of families. 

21.513. If they married each other there would 
only be about 136 marriages ? — Yes ; I cannot as- 
certain that there. 

21.514. (Mr. Van Oven.) It is an important 
point, is it not ? — Perhaps so. For, as I understand 
the report,. there are 16 families in which there are 
deaf mute children. Now, if there are only 136 
families, instead of 272, the proportionate number 
of deaf children will be still larger than at first 
sight appears. 

21.515. (Chairman.) How many are married n> 
the institution he does not say ? — No. 

21.516. (Mr. Van Oven.) One thing is very cer- 
tain, that if 272 married deaf mutes, a large number 
must remain in the institution, because the institu- 
tion is in the State ; and they would not have mar- 
ried from other States ? — They chiefly marry in the 
same institution. 

21.517. Therefore that would be 136, and the 21 
would be those who married outside entirely ? — 
Yes ; I have for more than a year past been gather- 
ing statistics relating to this subject ; it is very dif- 
ficult to obtain them ; I have found one means of 
doing so which I should very much like to bring to 
your attention. The deaf mutes of America have 
newspapers of their own, gossipy papers, speaking 
of their marriages, their families, and their children. 
I have succeeded in making complete files of some 
of the earlier of these deaf-mute journals for pres- 
ervation ; I then took these deaf-mute journals and 
had copied out on cards, which I submit for the in- 
spection of the Commission, all the records of mar- 
riages, giving the names of both parties who were 
married. Generally the journals did not state 
whether the deaf mutes were born deaf or not, but 
I have taken these cards and as far as I have been 
able I have hunted up the deaf mutes that have 
been married in the institution reports ; and now I 
have a collection of marriages from which we can 
deduce a percentage. 

21.518. (Mr. Woodall.) When you speak of the 
deaf mute journals, are they published for general 
circulation, or are they merely printed in the insti- 
tutions ? — Most of them are printed in the institu- 
tions with the object of giving the pupils practice in 
the art of printing ; they are also circulated by the 
institution among the former pupils. I have brought 
with me, in order that you may see the nature of 
them, a journal published in the New York Institu- 
tion, and this is a volume of if (producing the 
same) ; and I would direct your attention very spe- 
cially to one feature which is a very important ele- 
ment in promoting clanship in the deaf and dumb ; 
there is a column entitled The Itemizer. I will read 
the heading of this column and you will see its im- 
portance and significance. " Facts relating to deaf 
" mutes from all parts of the world, news from every 
" State in the Union. The idea is to gather into- 
" this column items that relate to deaf mutes per- 
" sonally or to associations of deaf mutes or to in- 
" stitutions for the benefit of deaf mutes. We hope 
" our friends and readers will keep us supplied with 
" items for this column. Mark items to be sent 
"' The Itemizer.' " You can imagine the fascina- 
tion which such papers as that have for deaf mutes - r 
they can hunt up and find the movements of their 
deaf friends recorded ; if a deaf mute cuts his 
finger it is here. These papers are very val- 
uable from a genealogical point of view, and I have 
been making great efforts to preserve complete files. 

21.519. There is a similar paper published at 
Philadelphia, is there not, called "The Silent 
World " ? — Yes, there are quite a number of such 

21.520. (Chairman.) You think these papers 
are objectionable because they tend to bring the 
deaf and dumb more together and tend to their 
intermarriages ? — Undoubtedly. The institutions 
should not publish papers of that kind. Of course 
you cannot prevent the deaf and dumb publishing 
independent papers. 

21.521. (Mr. Woodall.) But would you not say 
that they served certain other very useful purposes T 
— Yes. 

21.522. (Chairman.) There may be other rea- 
sons why the deaf and dumb should have their own 
journals ?— Perhaps so. The object is a very worthy 
one, namely, the teaching of the art of printing, but 
I do not think the public money should be expended 
in promoting clanship among the deaf and dumb. 
Papers of that character should, I think, if printed 



at all, be printed at the expense of the adult deaf 
mutes themselves. The institutions should encour- 
age their pupils to read ordinary newspapers, and 
if printing is taught by the publication of a periodi- 
cal the aim should be, in my opinion, to give the 
pupils of the institution (not the adults) information, 
in simple language, of what is going on in the great 
world outside, the items of news that interest hear- 
ing persons. I have somewhere in my book a table 
giving the results of the examination of 757 mar- 
riages reported in deaf-mute newspapers, which I 
have been able to use for the purposes of statistics, 
and the percentage of those who marry deaf mutes 
which comes out of this examination is 95 per cent.; 
that is to say, 95 per cent, of those who have married 
have married deaf mutes,* so that it is absolutely cer- 
tain — it is no question for argument or opinion — -that 
of the deaf who have married there has been a con- 
stantly increasing number who marry deaf mutes, 
until now they nearly all marry deaf mutes, and of 
those who marry hearing persons^ in the majority of 
cases the hearing persons are the brothers and sister 
of deaf mute friends. I beg to present the Commis- 
sion with the facts referred to in Queries 21,510 to 
21,522 arranged in tabular form.f (See " Statistics 
of Intermarriage.") 

21,523. (Mr. Woodall.) May we not take it that 
the perfecting of education has made them far more 
independent of a hearing and speaking mate than 
was the case before. I take it that formerly where 
they were taught the means of communication by 
signs only it was a great advantage to a man or 
woman to have a hearing and speaking husband or 
wife tp be a medium of communication with the outer 
world ; but as we have perfected a system by which 
they can themselves directly communicate with the 
ordinary population, there is less necessity for them 
to have an interpreter associated with them. Is 
that at all likely do you think to be one of the influ- 

* For analysis, see answer to Query 21,408. 
t Statistics op Intermarriage. 

1. Analysis of 1,089 cases of marriage of deaf-mutes from 
the following States: — Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, 
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Ohio, 
Indiana, and Illinois. For sources of information see Memoir 
"Upon the Formation of a deaf variety of the Human Race," 
foot-note to Table XII. See also Tables XX. and XXI. In 
the following Table the married deaf-mutes are classified ac- 
cording to period of birth. 

Period of Birth. 

Total recorded 
to have 

Before 1810 
1810 to 1839 
1840 to 1R59 - 
1860 and after - 





Total recorded 

to have married 





80 7 

2. Analysis of 293 cases of marriage of pupils of the Illi- 
nois Institution. See "Facts and Opinions," page 57. 

Total recorded to have 
married before 1888. 


Total recorded to have i 
married Deaf-Mutes. 




3. Analysis of 1,443 cases of marriage of deaf-mutes from 
all parts of the United States — collated from records in deaf- 
mute newspapers. 71 of these married hearing persons, and 
the remainder married among themselves, the whole consti- 
tuting 757 families. For full analysis, see reply to Query 

Total Deaf-Mutes re- , Total recorded to have \ 
ported to have married. I married Deaf-Mutes. I 




95 '08 

ences at work that tend to their intermarrying ? — It Mr. 
may be one of the influences at work ; and it certainly A. &. Bell. 
is a curious fact that there are no intermarriages of 21 j une iggs, 

deaf mutes on record in the United States before the 

establishment of institutions. There are very few 
cases of marriage of deaf mutes at all before the es- 
tablishmentof institutions and those were exclusively 
with hearing persons ; I have examined a few of these 
early cases and there are indications that even in these 
cases there were difficulties in the way of permission 
being granted to marry. For instance, I find a de- 
lay of two years between the record of an intention 
to marry and the actual marriage (which seems to 
have been solemnised to legitimatize a birth). 

21.524. ( Chairman.) Were there any State pro- 
hibitions or restrictions as to marriage ? — No, not 
that I know of, and you will find in the appendix at • 
the end of the small pamphlet a letter from the li- 
brarian of the Law Library of Congress which fully 
investigates the subject of the. marriage laws in rela- 
tion to the deaf and dumb from which it seems that 
there could not have been any restriction. 

21.525. (Mr. Woodall.) Does it not follow that 
when these young people of both sexes are taught 
together in the same institution, as they commonly 
are, that in itself would naturally lead to amorous 
relationships, and ultimately to marriage? — Un- 
doubtedly that is the prime cause of the whole thing, 
namely, segregation. Sign language is undoubtedly 
a most powerful element operating in adult life, but 
that again has been evolved from segregation. 

21.526. (Chairman.) I do not quite see how the 
fact of institutions in themselves can be said to pro- 
duce intermarriage of the deaf and dumb, if it is not 
so in Germany where they have a larger number of 
the deaf brought up in institutions, I believe, as far 
as we gather by the enquiries that we have made, 
certainly in large towns, and where they are all 
taught on the oral system. As the result of the en- 
quiries which we have made in Germany, we have 
satisfied ourselves that there was no great intermar- 
riage of the deaf and dumb 1 — The oral schools in 
America have been too recently established to en- 
able us to get reliable and accurate returns ; but Still 
we find that the pupils of these schools do to a large 
extent marry deaf mutes, but the proportion who 
marry hearing persons seems to be much greater 
than in the case of sign-pupils. For instance, in the 
Clarke Institution there are 17 pupils married, of 
whom 12 have married deaf mutes educated in other 
schools, and five have married hearing persons. 
Then there is a very curious point which is worthy 
of investigation. When you look at the 12 who 
have married deaf mutes, 10 of them are girls; it is 
the sought that are married more than the seekers. 
I see also that in the Horace Mann School, which 
is an oral school (only it is a day school, and the 
teachers have no control over the pupils after the 
school hours), there are three cases of intermar- 
riage of pupils. 

21.527. But supposing that these institutions were 
day institutions, the pupils would be thrown together 
just as much as if they lived in the same house, or 
very nearly so, would they not ? — Yes, while they 
were in school. 

21.528. Would your objection be equally strong to 
large day institutions ? — Equally, if the pupils were 
brought exclusively together. We want to mingle 
the deaf with hearing children in every possible way. 
We want to have the deaf mutes brought together 
in as small numbers as possible, and we want them 
to be in close proximity with hearing children in as 
large numbers as possible. I wish now to speak of 
the deaf offspring, that is to say, of the results of in- 
termarriage, because that is a most important point ; 
and I want you to examine this question not from 
the point of view which interests me so much, which is 
the scientific point of view, namely, the formation of 
a deaf variety of the human race, that is not the 
practical point for you ; the practical poi ut for you to 



Mr. consider is how far you are increasing the burden on 

A. 6. B ell. tjj e p e0 p] e by the education of the deaf offspring of 

21 June 1888. ^ ea ^ P e °pl e » an d looking at it from a merely money 

point of view (which I hold to be a lower point of 

view than the scientific one which interests me) it is 
a very serious and important question. The most 
accurate statistics on the question are those that 
are given by the Rev. W. W. Turner, and pub- 
lished on page 20 of my memoir. The general re- 
sult is simply this, that with one parent who is a 
congenital deaf mute one-tenth of the children are 
deaf, and with both parents congenital deaf mutes, 
about one-third are born deaf. 

21.529. Out of a smaller number of families ? — 
Yes, about one-third of the children are born deaf. 
Now, the only principal who has given me complete 
statistics of the marriages from his institution is the 
principal of the Georgia Institution ; and I would 
recommend your attention specially to his table on 
pages 60 and 61 of th'e pamphlet, in which he finds 
that 16 marriages of congenital deaf mutes produced 
59 children, 19 of whom, or 32^ per cent., were deaf 
mutes ; that is nearly a third. While that percent- 
age is important from a scientific point of view, 
you are more interested, of course, in the absolute 
numbers. I refer you to my memoir, pages 78, 79, 
80, and 81, which contains a list of deaf mutes intro- 
duced to our institutions who have one or both 
parents deaf. These names were returned to me by 
the principals and superintendents of our institutions 
in reply to a circular letter of enquiry. There are 
207' of them. It is only an imperfect list. If you 
turn to pages 28 and 29 and onwards of my memoir, 
where I allude to families of deaf mutes, you will 
see a number of large families of deaf mutes, and I 
find that these are not included in the table at the 
end. In my researches I have incidentally come 
across altogether 124 cases, which are not included 
in the table at the end. 

21.530. Are you speaking of the table of the Brown 
family ? — Yes ; look at the Hoagland family on page 
30 where there is a Hoagland with seven deaf and 
dumb children. On page 32 you have another case 
of Sayles Works, who married a female deaf mute 
who had six brothers and sisters deaf and dumb, 
and they have six children deaf and dumb. There 
again these children are not included in the table at 
the end. Adding all these we obtain a list of 331 
deaf mutes who are children of deaf mutes, but that 
still is very incomplete. My conclusions have been 
criticised by the principals and superintendents, as 
you will observe, on account of the incompleteness 
of the returns. But will you consider for one 
moment what that incompleteness means ? It means 
that the results are worse than those that I have 
given — 'that there are more deaf children of deaf- 
mutes than those I have specified. One month be- 
fore I left America, a new method of ascertaining 
the number of deaf children occurred to me indepen- 
dent of the principals. I thought I would see what 
could be done by reference to the census returns. 
Suppose, for instance, we find a number of deaf- 
mutes of the same surname living in the same house. 
Now look at their ages : May you not then be able 
to find out whether they are the children of deaf 
mutes ? I will show you the sort of information I 
get from the census return. Here is a case. Here 
is a family all of the surname of Bunck, all living in 
the same house, here is Daniel, aged 40 ; Annie, aged 
38 ; Elias, aged 17 ; Eddy, aged 12 ; and Mary, aged 
3, all deaf mutes living in the same house with the 
same surname. Here is another case : a family of 
the name of Holman. There is Bichard, aged 40 ; 
Buth, aged 30 ; George, aged 4 ; and Levy, aged 2. 
Now in such cases it is surely reasonable to assume . 
that we have deaf mute parents with deaf mute 
children. I have gone over the United States Be- 
turn of the Deaf and Dumb, and picked out all such 
cases as that. I am astonished, I am alarmed at the 
number that I found. These are capable of com- 
plete verification, because in the population returns 
the relationships are given to the head of the family, 
so that all we have to do is to take the numbers and 
hunt them up in the population returns, and find 

out exactly the relationship of those deaf mutes to 
one another. Unfortunately I have not been able 
to verify the list here for the Commission, for this 
reason, that the manuscript returns of the popula- 
tion are now in the hands of the binder, and are not 
accessible ; it would take some time to bind them, 
but in the autumn I hope to verify every one of these 
cases. I have put into the shape of a card catalogue 
all the cases which appear to me conclusively to be 
children of deaf mute parents. The indications are 
that we have at least 607 deaf mute children of 
deaf mutes in the United States living before 1880. 

21,531. (Mr. Woodall.) One or both parents being 
deaf mutes ? — Yes. As I say these are all capable 
of verification, and I shall make it' my duty to verify 
them the moment I can get at the population returns. 
In the meantime in order that you may examine 
them and see whether my judgment is reliable or not, 
I have had a duplicate made of my card catalogue, 
which I present tothe Commission (handing in the 
same). It contains the names of 607 deaf mutes 
who are believed to be the children of deaf mutes. 
In every case the authority is given. Where the 
authority is given as A. G. B.'s memoir, the result is 
reliable, because I have ascertained it directly from 
the superintendents and principals. Where the au- 
thority is given as the census it is a matter of judg- 
ment, and your judgment is of course as good as 
mine. I desire to say here that quite independently 
of the scientific aspect of the case I should like you 
to take and calculate upon the basis of the average 
per capita cost what it must cost the United States 
to educate those children, and then I would like you 
to see my analyses of these children according to 
their ages ; and to see the rate at which they are 
increasing ; it is something tremendous. If you 
will allow me I will just read the figures according 
to the ages of birth, so that you can see quite inde- 
pendently of the formation of a deaf variety of the 
human race that we are paying in dollars and cents 
an increasing and increasing amount for the educa- 
tion of such children. That alone makes it a verv 
serious question for statesmen to examine. Here is 
the analysis by ages. I have four tables which I 
will submit to the Commission ; but I will read these 
by ages as it shows the increase. Of these 607 
cases, 3 were born in the decade 1800 to 1809 (I 
take each decade). In the next decade 3 were born ; 
in the next decade 13 ; in the next decade 36 ; in the 
next decade 57 ; in the next decade 102 ; in the next 
decade 128 ; in the nexl decade 178 ; that is all that 
I have ascertained, making a total of 520. Of those 
not ascertained there were 87. Dividing these ac- 
cording to whether the deafness was congenital or 
not, the following are the figures. There are 239 
with regard to whom we cannot determine whether 
the deafness was congenital or not. That leaves 
368 cases which we can divide into congenital and 
adventitious. Of these 368 cases, 328, or 891 per 
cent., were born deaf, and only 40, or 10 9 percent., 
were not born deaf ; from which we may deduce that 
89 per cent, of these 607 cases are congenital deaf 
mutes ; and if you examine whether they constitute 
any considerable percentage of the whole congeni- 
tally deaf mute population, you will be startled by 
the result. If these figures are to be relied upon 
(and I ask the judgment of the Commission upon 
that point), om deaf mute in every 34 among the 
congenital deaf mutes is the child of deaf mute 

21,532. (Mr. Woodall.) Is that a larger propor- 
tion than you would have expected to find?— Yes 
My figures have hitherto been based upon 207 cases 
and all the scientific testimony that I have read from 
my book is based on only 207 cases. I knew that 
my returns were imperfect, but I had no concep- 
tion of that number, which shows that the matter 
is one of very much greater immediate importance 
than I had any idea of, and I do not know what 
scientific gentlemen would say as to the length of 
time which would be required to form a deaf race 
with so many. The number materially alters the 



21.533. (Chairman.) I presume from some of the 
answers to the questions which you have received, 
that it does not always follow that the marriage of 
deaf mutes produces deaf mute children in the first 
generation ; but it often skips a generation ? — That is 
the popular idea ; I do not know of any cases to justify 
it; I mean that I do not know of any considerable 
number of cases. It is a very common idea, but I 
have not found any proof of it. 

21.534. Certainly some of the answers to the ques- 
tions distinctly state the opposite view? — Yes, but if 
you examine the institution reports that contain deaf 
relatives, you will find that a remarkably small pro- 
portion of the children have grandparents who are 
deaf, or great uncles or aunts who are deaf, which 
would be the case if the peculiarity skipped a gener- 

21.535. In the Halifax Institution, out of 30 mar- 
riages 20 have been to deaf mutes and 10 to hearing 
persons, and the principal says : — " So far there are 
" probably between 30 and 40 children in these 
" families, and only in one case do the offspring of 
" these unions share the infirmity of the parent; but 
" that case is sadly noteworthy, all the children, five 
" in number, being deaf mutes. In this instance, 
" however, the children were, so to speak, doubly 
" stamped, there being several deaf mutes in the 
" family on both sides, as well as deafness in one of 
" them three generations back." There is a case, 
certainly, in which all the children were deaf mutes in 
consequence of that double stamp ; but on the other 
hand there were a greater number who were not so 
affected? — The majority of children of deaf mutes 
can hear, but the proportion of deaf offspring of deaf 
mutes is enormously greater than the proportion of 
deaf offspring in the community at large, and that is 
the point. Now these dea f children are going to have 
a larger proportion of deaf offspring than their parents 
had if they marry deaf mutes, and 95 per cent, of all 
those who marry are going to marry deaf mutes. 
That is again the point ; it is the continuous selection 
from generation to generation. 

21.536. Is it the fact that deaf mutes in the United 
States have less instruction than the ordinary chil- 
dren. It is stated, 1 see, in the pamphlet that the 
common law undertakes the education of all children 
from 6 to 21, but in the mute State schools the pu- 
pils formerly only got five years' education ; is that 
so ? — It is the case that they get a very much less num- 
ber of years instruction than the hearing children ; the 
reason I suppose is the expense that the State is put 
to to board them. 

21.537. They are in boarding schools are they? — 
Yes ; I believe it would be better for the State and 
more economical for the State, as well as better for 
the children, to let their parents board them wherever 
it is possible, and to lengthen their time of instruc- 

21.538. (Dr. Campbell.) Is not that state of things 
partly brought about because they are often drafted 
off to practical employment ; is it not the theory that 
as soon as they are prepared so that they can enter 
into ordinary society, it is better for them to do so. 
A great many people have a theory, have they not, 
that if these children are going into practical life in 
some employment, they ought not to remain in one 
of these boarding schools too long. Many of them 
have eight years have they not? — Yes ; but hearing 
children have from the age of 6 to 21. 

21.539. I know that, and I agree with you that it 
would be better if these children were partially pre- 
pared before they went there, so that they would not 
begin so early ; but I think that most educators of the 
deaf and dumb would themselves hold that they 
should not stay too many years in a boarding school 
for the deaf and dumb, but that it is better for them 
to get out into the world ; I should like to get your 
opinion upon this point ; I think that previously to the 
time of education the religious opinion of the commu- 
nity had something to do with the prevention of mar- 

riages between the deaf and dumb in the same way Mr- 
which it had amongst the blind. But what I want to A - <*• mu - 
ask you is this ; do you not believe that the great pre- 2 i j une i888. 

ponderance of this evil might be removed if the State 

would have entirely separate institutions for girls and 
boys ; and that if one State could not afford to have 
more than one institution, different States should com- 
bine, so as to have separate institutions for boys and 
girls ; -that is my theory with respect to the blind, and 
I want to know whether you share the same opinion 
with respect to the deaf and dumb * — I do not think 
that that would make much difference, so long as the 
language that is used by deaf mutes is different from 
the language of the community. 

21.540. Do you not think that where girls and 
boys are seeing each other every day, and come into 
contact through meeting in class and society, they 
form the very feeling which leads to after marriage 
with a great majority of them ? — Undoubtedly the 
collection of the two sexes into one institution does of 
itself promote intimacies and affections among the 
pupils. But quite independently of that, the fact of 
the possession of a language different from that of 
the community would bring the deaf together in 
large cities, just as the English-speaking people come 
together in the cities of Europe, because they have a 
common language. So far as I can find historically 
(and I have examined the subject) the first case of 
intermarriage of deaf mutes seems to have been the 
marriage (in 1819) of Laurent Clerc, the teacher whom 
the elder Gallaudet brought from France to America ; 
and as I look through the literature of the subject, 
I see evidences that the results of that marriage were 
watched with very great interest and eagerness by 
the deaf mutes of the country. There undoubtedly 
was a feeling before that time that it was wrong 
for a deaf mute to marry a deaf mute. 

21.541. (Chairman.) They had a feeling that it ag- 
gravated the evil ? — Yes, and some of the earlier teach- 
ers of the deaf and dumb had an idea that intermar- 
riage would lead to a deaf mute race. I was not the 
first to start that idea. Dr. Turner, of Hartford, was 
the first who produced that theory ; and it was 
founded upon facts within his knowledge. I have 
simply amplified his facts. 

21. 542. You stated that the results of that marriage 
was looked upon with great interest by all the deaf 
and dumb at the time; what was the result? — The 
children all heard. 

21.543. If they had not heard, the old system 
would have prevailed? — That is my opinion. 

21.544. (Mr. Van Oven.) Is there any record as to 
whether the husband and wife, — this lady who was 
imported from France, and the person whom she 
married, — were congenital deaf mutes or became deaf 
in after life? — In regard to the husband we do not 
know. He came from France and was supposed to 
be congenitally deaf, but we do not know it for 
certain. There is one thing which may indicate that 
he was not. It seems that his sign-name in Paris, 
translated, meant the false deaf mute ; so it may be 
that he was not born deaf. His wife, who was one of 
the early pupils of the American Asylum, was not born 
deaf, but Laurent Clerc himself was thought to be 
congenitally deaf, and that was what gave special 
interest to the case. 

21.545. (Admiral Sir E. Sotheby.) Do you know 
what is the result of their children marrying ? — All 
their children were hearing and speaking children, 
and all the descendants can hear. 

21.546. (Mr. Van Oven.) But there is no proof 
that either of them were congenitally deaf? — No. 
After that time the deaf and dumb commenced to 

21.547. (Chairman.) Assuming then that you have 
proved the case (which certainly is a very strong 
case from the statistics) that the present system is 
leading to a serious increase of deaf mutes in America 
which should be prevented, what is your remedy for 
it in the way of suggesting other methods of instruc- 



Mr. tion; would you formulate any distinct plan for 

A. 0. Bell, avoiding that which would be applicable to this 

21 June 1888. c °untrj as well as America. I want you to sum up 

' generally what you said before into any plans which 

you have had before your mind ? — I think that I can 
give the Commission some general principles which 
will be valuable in forming a conclusion. My plan 
for preventing the intermarriages of deaf mutes is to 
examine carefully the artificial causes, whatever they 
may be, which have led to intermarriage and to 
eliminate them from our methods. If I may sum it 
up in my own way I would say this : I want you 
carefully to formulate from the scientific testimony in 
this little pamphlet, the breeder's way to produce a 
deaf variety, and then to look at the methods which 
have been adopted by philanthropists, and to see 
whether you agree with me in the conclusion that 
these are the ways in which the breeder would go to 
work. How would the breeder go to work, supposing 
that he wanted to make a deaf race* The first thing 
that he would do would be to collect all the deaf mute 
children at as young an age as possible, take them 
away from their homes and hearing people, bring 
them all together and make them live together from 
early childhood up to adult life. Is not that just 
what we do ? 

21.548. (Admiral Sir E. Sotheby.) How long 
would you keep them there ? — As long as possible if 
you want to make a deaf race. That makes them 
more likely to marry one another than to marry hear- 
ing people. That is just what philanthropists have 
done. But that is not enough. You have certainly 
promoted acquaintances among the deaf ; you have 
certainly prevented them from making acquaintances 
among the hearing. But still you send them out into 
the world, equipped, it is supposed, to mingle with 
the world and to take their place in society ; and in- 
asmuch as there is only one deaf mute for 1,480 of the 
population, it would seem rather difficult to formu- 
late a plan that would make a deaf mute in adult life 
go and marry only a deaf mute. But supposing that 
we were to get a very ingenious breeder, supposing 
that we were to find a man who could formulate a 
plan which should compel the deaf to marry the deaf, 
to choose the one out of the 1,480, what plan would 
he adopt? Now I conceive that about the only prac- 
ticable plan, but it would be efficacious, would be 
this : do not let your deaf mutes think in English 
language; make them think in a different language 
from the language of the people, and then you have 
got the conditions. Now then, send them out into 
the world, and they not only know one another and 
do not know hearing persons, but they think in a 
language of their own distinct from the language of 
the people. That will compel them to keep together. 
And is not that what we do in America ? These are 
the two chief elements that produce deaf children in 
America. First, segregation which itself evolved the 
sign language; and secondly, the sign language 
which prevents the acquisition of English as the ver- 
nacular which brings the deaf children together in 
adult life, and forces them to marry one another. The 
hopeful feature about the whole case is that these are 
artificial conditions. You want to eliminate these con- 
ditions. The first error made by philanthropists was 
to take the deaf from their homes and from hearing 
children. We want to reverse the whole policy of 
centralisation. We want to adopt the policy of de- 
centralisation to the greatest possible practicable ex- 
tent. We want to bring the deaf together in as small 
numbers as possible, and we want to separate the 
deaf from hearing children as little as possible. We 
want them to be among their friends and in their 
own homes ; we want to strengthen, not to weaken, 
the ties that unite them to home. Institution life 
severs the home ties of the children. 

21.549. (Chairman.) Do you think that the prin- 
cipals of these institutions, knowing these facts 
which you have brought before us, make any attempt 
to discourage or prevent the marriage of deaf and 
dumb ; because -given those facts a great deal might 
be done if they were brought together under these 

circumstances ; is anything done by those who have 
control of them when young to instil into their 
minds the dangers and disadvantages which they 
are entailing upon their offspring and those to suc- 
ceed them by intermarriage ? — My best answer to 
that is to quote the words of the principal of the 
Illinois Institution, who is a representative man 
among our teachers. At page 53 of the pamphlet, 
Dr. P. G. Gillett says : " I do not discourage the in- 
" termarriage of the deaf as they are usually more 
" nappily mated thus than where one of the parties 
" only is deaf. The deaf need the companionship of 
" married life more than those who hear, and it is a 
" gross wrong to discourage it." 

21.550. It is not surprising when a man of so 
much influence as that in America advocates their 
intermarriage that his advice is followed by other 
teachers'? — Certainly not. 

21.551. (Dr. Campbell.) Is it not quite evident 
also that the majority of the principals of the deaf 
and dumb institutions throughout the States hold 
the same opinions ? — I think so. 

21.552. (Chairman.) Supposing that you had an- 
other system of teaching the deaf and dumb, as long 
as you have got a language which separates them 
from the rest of the world, even if they are brought 
up in their own homes, will not those who have been 
brought up under the separate system gravitate 
together when they are grown up, and again just 
at the time when marriage would take place be 
brought into contact with each other after they left 
their own homes? — Yes, if there is a separate lan- 
guage that result must follow. 

21.553. So that it is not enough to do away with 
institutions? — No, but it is not practicable to do 
away with institutions. 

21.554. But even if you could do away with insti- 
tutions, that of itself would not be enough ? — No ; 
in fact the chief cause of the intermarriage I hold 
to be that special language, but then that language 
was evolved from segregation which was the first 
cause ; it never would have been evolved but for that. 

21.555. (Mr. Woodall.) Among the deaf mutes 
themselves is there not a preference for those who 
are similarly circumstanced, rather than for marriage 
with a hearing and speaking person? — That is the 
immediate cause of the marriages ; but then tbey 
do not know other people ; they have been brought 
up together and have had no chance of forming ac- 
quaintances among other people. 

21.556. Do you think that there is any general 
prejudice on the part of those who possess their 
faculties to the disadvantage of those who are de- 
prived of the one or the other ? — When they have 
not ttye opportunity of seeing deaf children, there 
is a prejudice ; but when they have the opportunity 
there is no prejudice at all. 

21.557. You have had so happy an experience as 
we know that I hardly know in what way to put 
my question ; but do you think that marriages gen- 
erally between those who are so similarly circum- 
stanced, and those who are differently placed in this 
respect, are happier in the one case than in the 
other ? — The opinions of the principals seem to be 
that they are happier when both are deaf mutes. 
But I know of no data myself from which we can 
form conclusions. 

21.558. (Mr. St. John Ackers.) Is it not a fact 
that a very fair number of hearing teachers in insti- 
tutions in America have married deaf and dumb ex- 
pupils ? — I am not prepared to generalise ; but I 
know a good many who have done so. 

21.559. (Chairman.) Following your remarks up- 
on the questions which affect the increase of the 
deaf and dumb, will you now tell us what your views 
are with regard to the methods of instruction, first 
of all in relation to what we call the special language 
which we have been in the habit of calling the sign 
language, and next with regard to the teaching of 
language which is known in this country as the oral 
system ; will you give us your views as to how far the 
education of the deaf and dumb is affected and gov- 



<erned by those two systems? — In trying to educate 
the deaf child the first thing that we haye to decide 
is through the medium of what language shall we 
educate him ? Now I think the important principle 
that should guide us should be that we must teach 
•our child to think in the language of the people 
among whom he lives ; that is to say, that whatever 
method of instruction we adopt in this country, 
English in some form should be the language of 
communication and thought. The moment you use 
a special language that is not the language of the 
people, it comes between the deaf child's mind and 
the English language which he then acquires as a 
foreign language, and then certainly in adult life he 
will seek those who use that special language. The 
whole question of the education of the deaf is the 
question of language reading. 

21,560. How far is that special language necessary, 
or is it necessary at all ? — That special language is 
not necessary at all ; it is in the way because it inter- 
feres with the acquisition of the vernacular. For that 
purpose I should like to give you my views of the 
special language that we use in America, and which 
is known as the sign language. The same results I 
hold would follow if we used German or any language 
which is not the language of the people. I think 
that half the misunderstandings that arise between 
the teachers of the various systems of instruction 
arise from mutual misunderstandings of the mean- 
ing of the word "signs." There are signs and signs; 
and I think that it would be a matter of great im- 
portance to this Commission to classify the signs in 
order to have a proper and suitable classification by 
which we might see what class of signs are harmful 
and what class of signs are not. I would divide signs 
into four broad classes : (1) Signs of the emotions, fa- 
cial expressions, and so forth; (2) Dramatic signs, 
signs used by orators and others to emphasize the 
meaning of their words ; (3) Imitative signs, natural 
pantomime by which people imitate ; and (4) Symbolic 
signs or conventional signs; these are generally 
imitative in their nature but are symbolical of some- 
thing else.* As an illustration of what I mean by a 
conventional sign, if you attach the idea of " good " to 
holding up the thumb, that is conventional. Or again, 
suppose you adopt the sign for a cap string, drawing 
the thumb down the cheek, for a woman ; that is a con- 
ventional sign. In America the sign for the cap string 
now means " female." It would be applied to an ani- 
mal as well as to a human being. Or if you use a shirt 
front with the meaning, not of a shirt front, but 
" white," that is a symbolical sign. The first three 
classes constitute natural signs. That is — signs that 
are naturally used and naturally understood by all 
mankind. The use of a symbolical or conventional 
sign constitutes the basis of a real sign language. I 
may say in regard to that sign language that when I 
first became interested in the subject of the education 
of the deaf, I came to the conclusion that it was the 
duty of any man who desired to benefit the deaf to 
study all the methods of communication that were 
known. I, therefore, in 1872 or 1873 began to make 
a study of the sign language and took lessons in it for 
one year. I mingled with the adult deaf mutes of Bos- 
ton to get familiarity with the language and I know 
the language as you know French or German, or 
Russian, or some language that you do not think in 
but translate. I may not care to use it, but I know 
enough about it to admire it and be fascinated by it as 
a scientific study, and as a philological study. To see 
the way in which this language has arisen by a 
process of evolution from natural pantomime has 
fascinated me ; and in 1878 I brought forward the 
subject before the Philological Society of England in 
London, when I advocated the study of this language 

* Classification of Signs. 

(1. Emotional signs. 
(Natural signs --,2. Dramatic signs. 
Signs -• (3. Imitative sigus. 

(Conventional signs 4. Symbolic signs. 

by men of science. I say this in order that you may Mr- 
know that I do not approach this language with the A - G - "" 
bias of an oral teacher. I admire it as much as any ^\ j une 1888. 

teacher of signs can do ; I think it worthy of study, 

and worthy of preservation ; and yet I think it a 
mistake to use it in the education of the deaf. Now, 
in order that you may get clearly the distinction 
between the third and fourth classification, natural 
pantomime and sign language (that is symbolical 
signs), I would draw your attention to an exactly 
similar parallel between pictures (which correspond 
to pantomime) and a picture language like the Egyp- 
tian hieroglyphics (which corresponds to the sign 
language). In the one case you have natural signs 
and symbolical signs just as in the other case you 
have natural pictures and symbolical pictures. I 
think the whole difficulty with our teachers, and 
probably with yours, in knowing what to do with 
signs arises from not clearly formulating the radical 
differences between these kinds of signs. There is 
no teacher who does not use signs of the nature of 
Class 1 and 2 ; they all use expressions of face and 
they all use dramatic gestures. There is no teacher 
that objects to Class 3 in moderation being used as 
pictures are used ; there is no teacher that would not 
allow his children to illustrate the meaning of a sen- 
tence or story by acting it but. Natural pantomime 
is a great thing to interest a child in language, but 
it should be used as pictures are used, as mere illus- 
trations. The proper use of signs is to illustrate 
language, not to take its place. It is the conventional 
language corresponding to hieroglyphics to which 
objection is made. It is an arbitrary language, a 
conventional language, a symbolical language, ex- 
actly analogous to the Egyptian hieroglyphics, and 
it takes the place in the mind of the deaf child that 
the English language should take. I think it impor- 
tant we should teach our children to think in the lan- 
guage of the people. Now how does that language 
appear ? It appears under two forms, the spoken 
and the written form. Where the spoken and writ- 
ten forms coincide, as in Germany and Italy, there is 
really one language to be learnt, and I would advo- 
cate there as in all countries similarly circumstanced 
the pure oral method alone. But I do not think that 
that plan is quite suitable for all deaf children in our 
country because the spoken and written languages 
are different. 

21.561. Why are the spoken and written languages 
different in England, and not in Germany and Italy ? 
— I suppose we are more conservative, I do not know ; 
but since the introduction of printing, the written 
form of the language has remained comparatively 
fixed, whereas the spoken form of the language has 
shifted, so that now the pronunciation and spelling 
do not coincide. 

21.562. That renders it more difficult of. course 
than Italian or German? — Yes, that renders the 
introduction of the oral system more difficult. 

21.563. I did not know to what you were alluding, 
I quite understand it ? — We want to teach our chil- 
dren the English language. Now how are we going 
to teach any children a language? I think there is 
only one royal road to the learning of a language, and 
that is to use it for the communication of thought 
without translating it into any other language. The 
moment you teach one language through another the 
pupil thinks in the one language and translates into 
the other. You must use the language without trans- 
lation, and I hold that any language that is used in 
the presence of deaf children will be acquired by them 
by imitation if the language is clearly presented to 
their senses. And in regard to teaching language, 
if you have not had the evidence of one man, a fellow 
countryman of your own, I recommend you to bring 
him before this Commission ; a Scotchman (a good 
old Scotchman) a Scotch tutor in Oxford, who wrote 
upon the education of the deaf and dumb an admi- 
rable treatise, and who died and was buried and was 
forgotten. A hundred and fifty years afterwards his 
remains were discovered by Dugald Stewart on the 



Mr. dusty shelves ,of an old library, and the works of 

A . G. Bell. G eor g e Dalgarno were reprinted by the Maitland 

21 June 1888 Club of Glasgow ; and if this 'Commission has not 

'looked at that little work of Dalgarno's entitled 

" Didascalocophus " you will find that is a work con- 
taining many of the ideas of the nineteenth century. 
This was a man of gigantic intellect in his day, and 
when you consider that this was written about the 
year 1680 before the deaf were educated at all, you 
will be surprised at the clear ideas that he has. If I 
have any ideas of value about language teaching I 
give the credit to Dalgarno. You will find a reprint 
of his work in the Annals for January 1857, Vol. IX, 
pp. 14-64. 

21.564. At that time they were taught language 
and not signs, I suppose? — They were taught noth- 
ing ; the deal were not taught at all ; there was 
nothing in the year 1680 for the education of the 
deaf. His ruling principle in the way of teaching a 
language is, use it, and use it, and use it ; he says 
that it is the frequency with which words come that 
impresses them upon the memory so that the more 
frequently you can present words to the eyes of the 
deaf child the better ; all that you have to do is to 
present words to the eyes of the deaf child as we 
present words to the ears of the hearing child. 

21.565. Written words?— Yes ; then the child will 
come to understand them, and afterwards will come 
to use them. 

21.566. But then as you have to present it only to 
the eyes in the first instance, how do you first begin 
to teach language ; would your system be to write 
down a word and then speak it orally 1 — My plan 
would be simply to write or spell to a deaf child 
what I would say to a healing child. After a time 
he would come to understand it — then he would imi- 
tate it and use it. 

21.567. In each case you would write down a word 
and then speak it orally or vice versa; which would 
you begin with? — It depends entirely upon the 
class of the deaf that I am dealing with. Take those 
who are born deaf, those who have no knowledge of 
language ; I hold that the basis of their education 
should be written language, the written language of 
the people. The spoken language presented by 
word of mouth, what we term speech reading in 
America, reading from the mouth, every child who 
has a knowledge of language can acquire ; but I 
think that with the congenitally deaf to commence 
their education by speech reading, to commence to 
have the child read words from the mouth, before he 
knows the language, interferes with his mental de- 
velopment, retards progress in the acquisition of 
language, and thus defeats its own end, and retards 
the acquisition of speech-reading itself. I will il- 
lustrate in a moment what I mean. When you come 
to look at the mouth of a person so as to read from 
the mouth, you find that the elementary signs or 
positions are not clearly differentiated to the eye. 

21.568. In English it is so, certainly ? — Yes. For 
instance, take the difference between P and B and 
M. Here the lips are closed and accordingly the 
differences must be interior. All those three letters 
involve the closing of the lips, and the differences, 
whatever they may be, are interior. Whatever dif- 
ferences of adjustmeut differentiate to the ear the 
three sounds P, B, and M, there is nothing that can 
be seen by the eye, because the lips are shut, so that 
to a deaf child the letters P, B, and M are alike. So 
with T, D, and N ; so with K, G, and NG ; so with 
F and V, and so on with S and Z. In fact when you 
come to consider the visibility of the elementary 
sounds of the language they are very ambiguous. 
Take the case of P, B, and M again. A child can- 
not tell whether you say P, B, or M, but what he 
can tell is this — that the sound you utter is one of 
those three letters ; he can differentiate groups, but 
not individual letters. He can know that whenever 
he sees the lips shut, it must be one of those three 
letters, for there are no other elements in the English 
language that involve the closing of the lips. So 

again if he sees the under lip against the upper 
teeth he knows that it must be either F or V, but he- 
cannot tell 'which ; so that so far as the elementary 
positions are concerned all that' a deaf child can do 
is to determine groups of sounds. It follows from 
that ambiguity to the eye when you deal with words 
that there are many words that have the same ap- 
pearance to the eye. Take such a word as " man;'' 
there are no less than 13 words that look just alike 
to the eye of a deaf child ; so that if you were to say 
the word "man " to a deaf child, he could not tell 
from sight alone which one of those 13 words is the 
word you intend. They are all homophenous with 
one another. Let me take the case of the words 
which look like the word " man ; " there are for in- 
stance, pat, bat, mat, pad, bad, mad, pan, ban, man, 
pant, panned, band, and manned ; those are all alike 
to the eye of the deaf child. If you say the words 
singly he cannot tell one from the other. But suppos- 
ing you put them into a sentence; supposing that the 
child knows that the word is one of that I 
have given and I say " I met a (?) in the street" it could 
not be pat or mat and it could not be bad or mad ; it is 
man. Then, again, supposing that I say " I wiped my 
feet upon the (?);" it must be one of those words, and 
it can only be mat. Context differentiates the ambig- 
uous words one from the other. It follows from 
this that those who have a sufficient knowledge or 
the English language to be able to judge by con- 
text become good speech readers, but those who 
have not do not, and speech reading alone will not 
give them the knowledge. Those who could speak 
before they became deaf have that knowledge nat- 
urally. The congenitally deaf must first be given it 
artificially. If you were to take a pair of scissors 
and cut a line of writing right in half, so that you 
could only see the upper half or the lower half, it 
is evident if you show it to a man who knows the 
language perfectly he can read. It is ambiguous, 
but the context tells the meaning. But if he does 
not know the language will such a presentation of 
it teach it to him % I think not. So I think that if 
we present the English language in its spoken form 
to the eyes of those deaf children who know the 
language, we get good speech reading ; but if we 
present it to those who do not it will not teach the 
language, and we only retard mental development 
by presenting a language to them prematurely in 
an ambiguous form. In order to teach the language 
it should be presented in a clear and unambiguous 
form. Writing and a manual alphabet will do that. 
I do not think that there is any difference of opinion 
among practical teachers, either here or elsewhere, 
that in the case of children who have natural speech, 
and who therefore know the language, the pure oral 
system should certainly be adopted with them. But 
in regard to the congenitally deaf where they do not 
know language, there diversity of opinion occurs. I 
am inclined to think that those children should be 
taught the English language in a written form be- 
fore being required to rely upon the mouth alone. 

21.569. With signs ? — All the natural signs you 

21.570. Would you use the finger language then; 
where would that come in ; that maintains the lan- 
guage, does it not?— That maintains the English 
language, and I see no objection to it from a mental 
point of view. The objection is that it interferes 
with speech reading ; that is the true objection. But 
its use in the school-room, in the oral department, is 
a matter entirely within the control of the teacher. Do 
not mix the manual alphabet and speech reading to- 
gether, for then one will interfere with the other. 
Writing also interferes with speech-reading, if it is 
used to explain ambiguities of speech. Would you 
therefore deny a child a knowledge of written lan- 
guage ? Certainly not. But how does a manual 
alphabet differ from writing ? It is simply another 
form of alphabet — it is not a language by itself, only 
another kind of character or letter that can be made 
when writing materials are not at hand — and that 



has the advantage of writing in being more expedi- 
tious. But when we come to consider the deaf, I 
think we have more to look at than speech reading. 
"Take the case of a congenitally deaf child ; there are 
three misfortunes that result from his deafness ; it 
is quite a different case altogether from a child who 
^speaks naturally. In the first place he knows no 
words, so that his thoughts are carried on without 
"words ; there is a mental condition that is extraordi- 
nary, an ignorance that we cannot realise. Secondly, 
resulting from that, he knows no speech ; he does 
. not know spoken words, because they are addressed 
to his ear. And thirdly, although he has perfect 
eyesight and the printed page appeals to him as it 
does to us, he derives no ideas from written lan- 
guage. So we have these three necessities which 
are very obvious in the case of congenitally deaf 
children : lack of speech, lack of knowledge of writ- 
ten language, and lack of mental development which 
comes from intercourse with other minds. Now the 
three broad varieties of methods of instruction, the 
oral, the manual, and the sign methods, aim for one 
of those three things, but not for them all. A sign 
language teacher says it is the mental development 
that is most important and we will reach the mind 
any way, no matter about language ; so he develops 
the mind through that language which it is easiest 
for the deaf child to learu, irrespective of written 
language and irrespective of speech. The oral 
teacher says the child does not speak ; let us remedy 
that ; and it is speech that is made the one object, 
and written language is secondary, mental develop- 
ment is secondary, aud everything must go through 
speech. The manual teacher, on the other hand, 
thinks that written language is the onty thing of 
value aud neglects speech. So that each method 
aims at one of these three defects instead of all of 
them. I think that undoubtedly there is a great 
•deal of truth in all the points that are made by all 
the teachers of all the schools. I think that if we 
have the mental condition of the child alone in view 
without reference to language, no language will reach 
the mind like the language of signs ; it is the quickest 
method of reaching the mind of a deaf child. If 
you want a child to learn written language there is 
no method like using written language and spelling 
it and writing it on the board and on paper, and 
spelling it with the fingers. Use the written lan- 
guage all the time. Then in the case of speech, 
there is nothing that will develop speech like using 
the mouth. But if you try to send a billiard ball in 
three different directions at the same time, the bil- 
liard ball takes a resultant path, and I believe that 
• the broad-minded man who looks at the whole con- 
dition of the deaf will not aim at one of these things ; 
he will not adopt that method which is best calcu- 
lated to attain one of these results at the expense of 
the others ; he will take the resultant path. My 
own ideas upon that subject as regards the congeni- 
tally deaf are these: that those signs which are 
natural are really, or should be really, common to 
all the languages that you teach a deaf child, whether 
speech or otherwise. It is only the fourth class of 
signs that is objectionable. While I admit that the 
use of a sign language might start the mind of a 
-deaf child more quickly than the other methods — 
the mental improvement is not continued but re- 
tarded as time goes on ; " for the printed literature, 
through which alone much advancement can be 
gained, is in another language (the English lan- 
guage), and he cannot profit fully by this until he 
has unlearned the language he first acquired, so as 
to be able to think in English. The sign language 
is in the way of his learning the English language, 
«o that though his initial velocity may be very great, 
he soon runs against an obstacle which checks his 
further advance. I believe that for the congenitally 
deaf written language should form the basis, because 
it is clearly differential to the eyes ; it is perfectly 
distinct and perfectly clear, and I think that it should 
be supplemented by the use of the manual alphabet, 
for we want that method, whatever it is, that will 
give us the readiest and quickest means of bringing 

English words to the eyes of the deaf, and I know Mr- 
of no more expeditious means than a manual alpha- A ' "• '"• 
bet. Then I think that every deaf child should be 2 i j une igyg. 

taught to use his vocal organs. For those little 

deaf children who are taught by writing and the 
manual alphabet, I should advocate also the teach- 
ing of speech. 

21.571. Simultaneously, not as an accomplish- 
ment 1 ? — Not as an accomplishment, but simultane- 
ously. I would have a deaf child speak in the school- 
room all the time, and have the teacher write or spell 
to him. Of course I speak still of the congenital 
deaf. Their difficulty is a one-sided difficulty ; deaf- 
ness interferes with their comprehension of language 
addressed to them. There is no defect of the vocal 
organs to prevent them from using speech in ad- 
dressing their teacher. 

21.572. "What would you have the teacher do, 
write or use speech ? — I would have him write or 
spell so as to present the language in a clear form, 
and jvhen tne child has arrived at familiarity with 
the English language then is the time when he may 
profit by speech reading. Then is the time, and not 
till then, that he is thoroughly competent to decide 
upon the ambiguities of speech. I think that the 
oral teachers retard the acquisition of speech read- 
ing by their congenitally deaf pupils by not relying 
more on written language. T advise that they should 
be taught both written language and speech, and 
that while the pupil should be encouraged to use 
speech all the time, the teacher should rely upon 
written language in the earlier stages, and that as 
they grow up in their knowledge of language speech 
reading should be substituted for writing and spell- 

21.573. That is, I suppose, what is meant by the 
combined system in some cases. You have told us 
that it is very difficult to know what the combined 
system is, that it may be one thing or it may be 
another. Is that the view that is taken in America 
with many who say that their schools are on the 
combined system? — I do not know. The greatest 
diversity of opinion prevails about the word " com- 

21.574. What are the institutions in the United 
States which adopt your method ; are they institu- 
tions which describe themselves as combined 
schools? — There are not any. The teachers in 
America are all extremists ; they are either pure 
oralists, or they are sign teachers, or manual teach- 
ers. The best results I have seen in the teaching of 
English to little children on a large scale have been 
in the Western New York Institution, where sign 
language is abolished, and all communication is car- 
ried on by the manual alphabet, but they.neglect 
speech. In all the schools with which I am ac- 
quainted "speech " and " speech reading " go to- 
gether. It is not fully recognised that they are two 
distinct arts, and that a pupil may succeed in one 
and fail in the other. 

21.575. (Mr Woodall.) When you speak of the 
Western New York Institution, do you mean the one 
at Western, New York? — No, I mean the one at 
Eochester, New York. I think it important to make 
a very great distinction between articulation and 
speech reading. All the difficulties in the way of 
the application of the oral method, which all men 
must admit is the best if it is practicable, lie in 
speech reading. 

21.576. You think then that everybody can learn 
to speak ? — Everybody can learn to speak, and every- 
body who knows the English language can learn to 
understand it from the mouth. If we are to teach 
our children to speak we have, practically, in Eng- 
lish-speaking countries to teach them two languages, 
or rather two dialects of the same language, for the 
spelling and the pronunciation are very different 
from one another. They must learn the writteu 
form. Then keep it separate by itself, like a dis- 
tinct language. During one portion of the day have 
all communication by writing and a manual alphabet ; 



Mr. at another portion have it all by speech and speech- 

*• reading (and if writing must be used to explain am- 

21 June 1888. higuities let it be phonetical writing). In the earlier 

stages I would use writing and a manual alphabet 

almost exclusively ; simply teaching articulation and 
speech-reading for an hour or so a day. The pupils 
will be able to pronounce words long before speech- 
reading can be relied upon as the means of communi 
cation. I would then in this stage have them use 
their speech (instead of writing and' spelling) when 
they communicate with their teacher all the time, 
but have the teacher continue during the greater 
portion of the day to address them by means of 
writing and a manual alphabet, but for an hour or 
so a day let him use speech without the manual al- 
phabet. As the pupils become familiar with English 
phrases many will be found whose education could 
be carried on in an oral department, exclusively by 
oral methods. Others will not be able to understand 
speech from the mouth readily and easily, while 
they may be able themselves to speak intelligibly. 
In such cases they should remain under manual in- 
struction, but speak themselves in the school-room, 
oral instruction being given for a limited period 
each day. 

21.577. Then you look upon lip-reading as a sub- 
sequent part of the instruction which ought not to 
be begun at first! — It should be begun from the 
very earliest stage, but should not be relied upon as 
the means of communication. 

21.578. I suppose you admit that unless speech 
is taught when young, the results of speech to the 
deaf are never satisfactory ? — Yes, but I do not wish 
to assert this too positively. 

21.579. That is the evidence which we have had, 
and we have observed ourselves that a great deal of 
the voice depends upon practising speech early ; is 
that your opinion ? — Undoubtedly, but I must say 
one word as to the method of measuring the results 
of speech in oral schools. I think that the method 
which is adopted of ascertaining the relative value 
of speech and signs is entirely wrong. Let us now 
see of all the accomplishments, and all means of 
communication, that are taught to a deaf child, what 
are those means that are of use to the child in com- 
municating with the hearing world. (1.) First of all 
look at a sign institution. They use the sign lan- 
guage. That language is not known by the hear- 
ing world; it is of no use to them in communication 
there. They use the manual alphabet ; that is not 
known to the hearing world ; that is of no use in 
communication. There is only one thing which they 
have that is of use in communicating, and that is 
writing. That is the only bond of union between a 
deaf child taught by the sign method and the hear- 
ing world. (2.) So if you look at the manual method 
in which the sign language is excluded, and writing 
and the manual alphabet is used, again we find only 
one means of communication, viz., writing. (3.) 
Now you come to the oral school, and here is the 
point which we do not realise as a general rule, — 
that they have writing too. The children are taught 
to read aud write, and they have that means of com- 
munication with the hearing world, so that whatever 
articulation they have, let it be of the most abom- 
inable character possible, it is something in addi- 
tion to that which they have by all the other methods. 
We are generally apt to gauge the value of the oral 
method by the perfection of the speech. That 
has nothing to do with it at all. Whatever speech 
a child has is something in addition to what a child 
has who has no speech ; and the way in which you 
should compare the oral schools, the manual schools, 
and the sign schools is to take what they have in 
common and compare the results then; compare 
their knowledge of written language, and their use 
of it in oral schools, manual schools, and sign-lan- 
guage schools ; and supposing that they simply are 
all equal, then the oral system is better. If they 
are not equal, then the defect should be remedied. 
The claim has been made, and I am inclined to think 
with some justice, that in some cases they are not 
equal. I am inclined to think that in some cases in 
oral schools the knowledge of language of the con- 

genially deaf is not equal to that of those who are* 
taught in manual schools, certainly not in Mr. West- 
ervelt's schools, but that can be remedied ; there is- 
no reason in the world why written language should 
not be used more freely. The manual system relies 
on writing and neglects speech. The oral schools- 
rely upon speech and neglect writing. But there is 
the means of comparing them. If you are to value 
speech, how are you to value it? Not by its per- 
fection, but by its intelligibility. 

21.580. As a means of communication ? — Yes, that 
is the value of speech. But if you value the oral 
method you have to base your value on the knowl- 
edge of written language possessed by the children. 
If their knowledge of written language is the same 
as the knowledge of written language possessed by 
those taught on other systems, then they have some- 
thing in addition in whatever power of speech they 

21.581. Do you think that that knowledge of 
speech, which is very often found to a limited de- 
gree in the deaf and dumb, is valued by them as a 
means of intercourse as much as it ought to be 
valued ? — It is valued in the place where it should 
be valued ; it is valued in the homes of the children. 
The teachers of the deaf do not value it ; they think 
that because speech is imperfect or perhaps painful 
to the ear, it is of no use. There never was a greater 
mistake. All those who have had anything to do 
with the deaf, and who may have had deaf persons 
in their own family, know that an imperfect articu- 
lation may be very sweet to those who love the child ; 
and the point of value is the intelligibility of the 
speech. If it is intelligible that is its value. Of 
course the greater perfection we can get the better. 
But do not discard articulation because it is difficult 
to get it in perfection. 

21.582. But where articulation is only taught as 
an accomplishment, as it is in some schools, there 
appears to be, from what we have seen and heard, a 
great shyness on the part of children who are deaf 
and dumb in an institution to exercise that speech ; 
there does not seem any great willingness on their 
part to exercise speech ; that is so, is it not ? — Un- 
doubtedly ; the conditions in institutions are unfa- 
vourable to the practice of speech. Indeed I have 
known speaking children who became deaf at 12 
years of age, who have gone to a sign institution, 
and been placed under a deaf teacher, and have come 
out deaf mutes — those were children who had been 
in our ordinary public schools. That is to say, they 
were deaf mutes in this sense, that they did not use 
their speech, that they were shy in using it ; they 
had the ability of course, but they come out deaf 
mutes, and were mingling with deaf mutes in adult 

. 21,583. Therefore you think it very important that 
everybody should have an opportunity of being 
taught speech? — I think it is a crime not to try to 
teach the deaf to speak. In our institutions, as you 
will find from the statistics which I have presented 
to you, the majority of the children have no oppor- 
tunity of acquiring the art of speech ; they are not 
dropped from articulation classes. If you look at 
the statiRtics that are collected at the end of this 
little volume, "Facts and Opinions relating to the 
Deaf," you will find that the majority of the pupils 
have not been dropped from articulation classes ; 
they have not had a course of training for a year or 
so in speech, and then been dropped on account of 
their inability to acquire it ; they have never had the 
opportunity of learning, and I hope the moral senti- 
ment of society in future will be such that it will be 
considered a crime to deprive a human being of the 
power of articulate speech by neglecting to instruct 
him in the use of his vocal organs. Therefore I 
have urged that in all the institutions of the country, 
whatever method of instruction is employed, articu- 
lation should be raised at least to the level of geogra- 
phy and history. It should be a study that should 
be taught as a matter of course to every deaf child, 
not only on account of the benefit that it is to his 
health and his lungs, but as a matter of duty and 



21.584. In an institution where you have some who 
are congenitally deaf, and others who have the remains 
of speech, in the one case you say that the congeni- 
tally deaf must be taught by the finger alphabet in the 
first instance, and that those who have some remains 
of speech must be taught orally. Have you any strong 
views as to the necessity of keeping those two classes 
absolutely distinct in such an institution, and not 
allowed to communicate with one another? — I have 
no strong views as to the separation of those two 
classes out of school hours. I think that their knowl- 
edge of written English will be increased by commu- 
nication with one another by the manual alphabet. I 
would not, however, have the manual alphabet used 
in the school-room in the oral department. 

21.585. Passing them up from that department to 
the oral school, and making the oral school an upper 
school ? — Yes, putting all those who have a knowl- 
edge of speech in the oral school to start with ; and in 
the case of those who have no knowledge of speech, I 
would give it them ; but speech reading should not 
be used as the sole means of communication until they 
are familial' with the English language. Just as fast 
as they become familiar with the idiomatic phrases of 
the language, then they have the faculty of reading 
from the mouth, and they can be graduated into the 
oral classes. One point with regard to speech reading 
is very important. When you come to realise that 
context is the key to speech reading, you can see 
a very curious result that ordinary speech at its 
ordinary rate of utterance is more clearly intelligible 
than slow and laboured articulation. I have studied 
this matter very closely, and have been informed by 
a lady, who relies exclusively upon speech-reading, 
that she understands strangers more readily when 
they do not know that she is deaf, because they speak 
naturally and at the ordinary rate ; but the moment 
they are told that she cannot hear, they commence 
to mouthe and make exaggerated motions, and then 
she finds more difficulty in understanding them. You 
can easily see that if context is the key to speech 
•reading, if you speak single words to a deaf child, 
word by word, he does not get enough to make the 
context. You want to present the whole sentence to 
a child. But you cannot do that with a congenitally 
deaf child, although you can with one who knows the 
language. So that I hold that relying upon speech 
reading in the earlier stages of the congenitally deaf 
defeats its own end. We do not get such good speech 
reading as we would if the children were taught fa- 
miliarity with the English language first. As already 
stated the conditions in an institution are not favour- 
able to articulation and speech reading. There are 
few people who can hear him talk, for his companions 
are all deaf, and if he is put under a deaf teacher his 
speech is of no use. I believe that in day schools, 
especially in little schools where children have fre- 
quent intercourse and association with hearing chil- 
dren, you will get one thing that is wanting in institu- 
tion life, viz., a stimulus to the acquisition of speech. 
There are people all round the child who can hear, the 
people at home and at school, the people who go to 
the same building can hear, so that every word that a 
deaf child learns to speak is a bond of union between 
him and his hearing companions ; every word that he 
learns to understand from the mouth is a bond of 
union between them and him ; and as his education 
advances and he becomes more able to communicate 
by word of mouth or by writing with those who can 
hear, those bonds of union will become more and more 
numerous until ultimately he will be absorbed into 
the population ; whereas, if we keep him away from 
hearing persons speech is of no use, the English lan- 
guage itself is of no use. Segregation and sign lan- 
guage tend to separate the deaf from the hearing 
world. They are not restored to society. You must 
have small day schools and plentiful instruction in 
articulation and speech reading, for that alone is the 
means by which children can come into communica- 
tion when they are too young to communicate by 
writing. There is one point with regard to the gen- 
eral matter of instruction which I should like to 

mention here. It is very important that in examin- Mr. 
ing methods of instruction you should ask the age A - G - B eU - 
at which the child became deaf. The cases that are 2 i j une 1888. 

shown in America as cases in which great results 

have been obtained with deaf mutes have very often 
been cases of children who became deaf after they 
had learned to speak. I have thought of one method 
by which we can gauge the general success of our 
American institutions. It is rather a curious method, 
and Dr. Gallaudet has promised me his assistance 
in applying it. We have in America a national col- 
lege for the higher education of the deaf, which is 
open to all the deaf graduates of our institutions. 
These persons who apply for admittance are exam- 
ined ; there is a matriculation examination, when cer- 
tain of them are thrown out and others continue in 
the college ; and finally, they go through the whole 
curriculum of the institution and some graduate. 
Now we know what is the proportion of the coDgen- 
itally deaf to the whole deaf mute population. It is 
more than one-half,but of the graduates of the National 
College only 10 per cent, were born deaf. That to 
my mind indicates that as regards the congenitally 
deaf who form the majority of our pupils the methods 
of education have not been so successful as to place 
them on a level intellectually and mentally with those 
who started with speech. 

21.586. I want to know with regard to this college 
of Dr. E. M. Gallaudet what proportion of the stu- 
dents come from oral schools, because he stated to us 
that those who had been in the oral schools mixed 
freely with the others, and he thought there was no 
objection to that ; but I do not think he told us what 
the proportion was; can you do so? — I am unable 
to say what is the proportion ; but Dr. E. M. Gal- 
laudet promised to give me every facility to examine 
it ; and I think the statistics of the National College 
can be used to gauge the general success of the 
education all over the United States. 

21.587. You say in your memoir that at Dr. E. M. 
Gallandet's school and college, that is, the primary 
school and college, there is not one single pupil using 
articulation as a means of instruction? — No, not one. 
But you will observe in the evidence from the Ken- 
dall School, which you will find in this little volume, 
that speech is used as a means of instruction in that 
school, but not as the sole means of instruction. 

21.588. {Mr. Van Oven.) Do you not think it is 
possible that the reason why the percentage of congen- 
itally deaf mutes is comparatively speaking so small 
in their college for the higher education of the deaf 
may arise from the fact that their intelligence is 
not so good to begin with; that the same cause 
which made them be born deaf in all probability may 
have produced less brain power ; do you think that 
you should put it entirely upon the training ? — I do 
not know what the cause is ; but it is simply sug- 
gestive to my mind as a means of testing the methods 
of education. 

21.589. Let me suggest that to you, because your 
opinion is so valuable that I should like you to say 
whether it is a hard and fast opinion or not? — It is 
not a hard and fast opinion at all. I may say, how- 
ever, that so far as my observation has gone, there 
are many bright and intelligent minds among the 
congenitally deaf, and some of the brightest of our 
pupils have themselves been children of deaf mutes. 

21.590. {Mr. St. John Ackers) You are, I under- 
stand, here not specially deputed by any one school 
of any one system in America? — I come as the repre- 
sentative of no system ; I express merely my own 
opinions and my own ideas. I have invited the 
principals and superintendents to express their ideas 
for themselves in the pamphlet that I have handed 
to the Commission ("Facts and Opinions relating to 
the Deaf"). 

21.591. Keferring to Dr. E. M. Gallaudet's evi- 
dence before this Commission in answer to question 
13,140, he there mentions a convention which was 
held, I think, in California; do you know of that? — 



Mr. 21,592. He says there, in effect at any rate, that 

A. O. B ell. t nere was an entire concensus of opinion as to the 

21 June 1888 ^est wa y °^ teaching in America, and he says, " I 

" speak of that as a matter of very great importance, 

" because it was really a burying of the hatchet." 
Are we to understand that in your opinion there is 
a general agreement in America between teachers as 
to the best method to be pursued, or do you con- 
sider there is still great diversity as to what should 
be the system ? — I know that there is the very great- 
est diversity of opinion among teachers ; but there is 
a burying of the hatchet Our teachers meet together 
in friendly conventions, and we discuss all these 
disputed questions in a friendly spirit, each having 
respect for the opinions of others ; so that in that 
sense there is a burying of the hatchet. We have 
in our country representatives of all the methods of 
instruction that are used elsewhere, but instead of 
their being the animosities that prevent progress 
there is free discussion in such conventions, as the 
convention which was held in California. I was not 
present at that convention and therefore I cannot 
speak as to its results. 

21.593. Then when these words are used in the 
report of that convention : " The war between the 
" two prominent systems of instruction, the ' man- 
" ual' and the 'oral,' which has been carried on so 
" vigourously for many years may said to be prac- 
" tically ended." That does not mean that persons 
have come to one mind in the matter ? — By no 

21.594. But simply that each is inclined to follow 
his own line ? — I think it means that the acrimo- 
nious war is ended. There were very bitter feuds 
between the upholders of the different systems ; 
those are dead. In that respect I think that Dr. 
Gallaudet is right in saying that the war is ended, 
though the diversities remain. 

21.595. The diversities are in fact as strongly 
marked as ever? — Yes. 

21.596. Now referring to the articulation tables 
at the end of your memoir, to which I have already 
partially referred, the statistics go there, do they 
not, to prove conclusively that a very large propor- 
tion of the non-congeni tally deaf are still debarred 
from articulation? — Undoubtedly the majority of 

21.597. It is not therefore confined to the con- 
genially deaf ; but the majority even of the others 
are debarred from articulation under the present 
prevailing system in America ? — I believe that is 

21.598. You spoke on the last occasion when you 
were under examination of the proper classification 
in the census returns ; do you not consider that it 
would be of very great importance if a similar classi- 
fication could be obtained in the census returns of 
all States ? — Undoubtedly. 

21.599. And would you not consider further that 
there should be uniform statistics in each school 
and institution ? — Undoubtedly so, and in that con- 
nexion I would refer the Commission to the action 
of the recent conference of principals that was held 
in Jackson, Mississippi, very shortly before I came 
from America, in which the forms for the collection 
of statistics that Dr. Gallaudet referred to were 
formally accepted by the principals of all the insti- 
tutions so as to produce uniformity in the collection 
of statistics. You will find a description of these 
forms in the Annals for 1885, Vol. XXX., pp. 52-58. 

21.600. Would it not enormously help to a right 
conclusion as to the causes of deafness, and there- 
fore to a great extent as to their prevention, if these 
statistics were kept in an uniform way in each insti- 
tution ; not only in each country but in all countries ? 
— Un doubtedly . 

21.601. And those who like yourself have spent 
so very large an amount of time in research in this 
matter would welcome such a change as being ex- 
tremely beneficial? — Undoubtedly. 

21.602. Then, as I understand you, it is desirable 
to classify so as to thoroughly understand the causes 
of deafness and other particulars in the census re- 
turn in each individual institution, and also to 

classify what is meant by the different terms used 
in deaf mute education? — I think it is necessary. 

21.603. I want to go back to what seems to me, 
if I may say so, the most important part of your ex- 
tremely important evidence; that is, with regard to 
deaf children being the offspring of deaf parents. 
Is it not a common error even amongst those who 
have most to do with the deaf and dumb that con- 
genially deaf persons marrying are not more or not 
much more likely to have deaf children than other 
persons ? — That is a very common error. 

21.604. And is not this on account of the number 
of such persons having hearing children ? — Yes. 

21.605. They conclude because a very much larger 
number of these children are hearing children than 
are deaf that really there is not a very much larger 
proportion ? — That is the reason undoubtedly. 
Nearly all of the objections that have come to my 
theories are based upon the fact that the majority 
of the children of congenitally deaf mutes can hear. 

21.606. If the average of the children of the con- 
genitally deaf were taken, the total number of their 
children, hearing and deaf, and then the number of 
their deaf children, and compared with those born 
of hearing parents, the difference would be seen at 
once, would it not ? — Undoubtedly. 

21.607. Let us now turn for a moment to page 20 
of your memoir, and I am now going for the sake 
of convenience to deal with round figures rather than 
in the actual figures which appear here ; for instance 
instead of saying one in every 1,480 I should say 
one in every 1,500. I would ask you in the first 
instance how many children you reckon should be 
taken as the average number of every family ; do you 
reckon three or five or what number ? — I cannot 
venture to say. 

21.608. It does not signify much ; I will take 
three. For the sake of argument, allowing three 
children to every family and allowing (this is all for 
the sake of argument, please to understand) half the 
total number of deaf to have been born so, and also 
allowing for the sake of argument that as many deaf • 
are born to hearing as to deaf and dumb parents 
(which of course you do not agree to), would you 
not expect to find one- child who is deaf and dumb 
born to every 3,000 of the population ? — Undoubt- 
edly, speaking in round numbers. 

21.609. Allowing one in every 1,500 to be deaf 
and dumb, and allowing one-half of those to be con- 
genitally deaf and dumb, you must double the num- 
ber of the population to get one congenital case, 
therefore it would be one in every 3,000 ? — Yes. 

21.610. Now can you tell us what is the minimum 
number that you find as the average in your re- 
searches where one or both parents are deaf, taking 
50 or 60 cases ?— » I cannot answer the question in 
that form. 

21.611. Will you put it in your own way ? — I can 
answer that by taking totals. Taking the whole 
deaf mute population at 34,000 in round numbers, 
if congenital deafness was no more common among 
their offspring than among the offspring of hearing 
persons, we should expect that one in 3,000 of the 
deaf mute population would himself be a congeni- 
tally deaf child of deaf mute parents. We can cal- 
culate that. Upon that basis we should, by dividing 
34,000 by 3,000, arrive at the total number of con- 
genitally deaf children in the country who should 
themselves be the children of deaf mute parents, say 
12. There should not be more than 12 congenitally 
deaf mute children of deaf mute parents in the coun- 
try, if the children of deaf mute parents were no 
more liable to congenital deafness than those of 
others. But we have here a list of 607 deaf mute chil- 
dren of deaf mutes, and of these 89 per cent., that is 
about 540, were born deaf. So that while I cannot 
answer the question in detail with families, we can 
form some general idea looking at the whole deaf 

21.612. Is it not a common thing for those who 
hold (as I see that some of the heads and other 
teachers of institutions in America still hold) that 
there is not a greater numberof deaf children the 
offspring of deaf parents to produce statistics to 



show that such is the case ; and when those statis- 
tics are analysed, taking their own figures, you find 
that a very much larger proportion are really the 
children of congenitally deaf parents, or where one 
parent is congenitally deaf, than when that is not 
the case ? — Yes ; the very figures that ai'e brought 
to prove the converse of the fact show that. 

21.613. You have spoken of the cases of the deaf 
marrying together, and you have stated, I think, that 
the chief causes are, in the first place, the language 
not being the language of the country ; and secondly, 
their being brought together in large numbers in in- 
stitutions. You have stated that, when they go out 
from those institutions, they cannot mix with the or- 
dinary world, and are therefore brought together 
again. May I ask whether there are not in America 
and elsewhere adult societies, philanthropic societies, 
missionary societies, and social societies which very 
much increase the congregating of large numbers to- 
gether ? — Undoubtedly so ; not only do we have such 
societies in nearly all of our large cities, but the 
Church missionary system extends over the whole 
country, and there are itinerant missionaries who 
travel from city to city, and bring the deaf together. 

21.614. Have you had much opportunity of talking 
with those missionaries, and with other officials of the 
adult deaf and dumb societies, as to what value they 
place upon articulation ? — I have not had much op- 
portunity of talking upon that subject with mission- 

21.615. You cannot therefore tell us, from your 
own knowledge, what line they take with regard to 
this subject? — No. 

21.616. Is it within your knowledge that they 
very frequently try, and succeed, to join with the 
totally deaf and dumb those who have been orally 
taught ? — It is within my knowledge that efforts are 
made to bring into the societies the pupils of oral 

21.617. I will take, for instance, the case which I 
personally know of Boston, where you have a large 
day school and where there is every effort made to 
prevent the pupils being together except in schools, 
and where they are living in their own families. Is it 
not the case that when they leave school, and even 
sometimes in the evenings before they have left 
school, there is a great effort made, and a successful 
effort, to get them to join the deaf and dumb adult 
society ? — Yes. 

21.618. And that in your opinion conduces very 
considerably to an extra number of marriages of the 
congenitally deaf and dumb ? — Yes. 

21.619. And therefore they increase ? — Yes. 

21.620. At the majority of your institutions are 
the pupils of the different sexes mixed ? — I think in 
the majority of them, so far as my observation goes, 
they have the different sexes in the same schools. 

21.621. With regard to the adult deaf and dumb 
societies are the majority of their meetings, whether 
for social or religious purposes, confined as a rule to 
one sex at a time or do they mingle together in 
these evening meetings? — Both sexes mingle to- 

21.622. As a rule they are both together at the 
same time ?- -Yes. 

21.623. I see that the view you take that the in- 
termarriage of these congenitally deaf, mute persons 
dates very much from the system of sign teaching 
and institution life is not held, at any rate, by certain 
of the professors and teachers in America. I see 
that there is one person mentioned in this pamphlet, 
page 83 from the Cathedral School in Cincinnati, 
who argues in this way (and I do not know that I 
should take much notice of this if it had not been 
that unfortunately we get the same argument from 
other places) : " The world is six thousand years old, 
'' and duriDg all these years deaf mutes have been 
" born ; they have intermarried and died, leaving 
" children after children, yet nowhere on the face of 
" the earth is a hereditary race of deaf mutes found." 
I take it that you would at once say that this is in- 
correct aB to their having intermarried, in the sense 
in which you now speak of intermarriage, with re- 
gard to deaf mutes in America ; inasmuch as we 

know perfectly well that the institution life and ^ r Bell 
system did not exist, say, 150 years ago from the A - tf ' Je l ' 
present time ? — Yes. . 21 June 1888. 

21.624. May I ask you whether in your large ex- 

perience in America of these different gatherings, and 
outside, you do not find ideas very similar prac- 
tically to this which is here stated. Perhaps this is 

an extreme case ; but is it not the case that there is 
a very large amount of ignorance upon this matter 
which, if once dispelled, and the real facts thoroughly 
grasped, would, in your belief, lead to a very dif- 
ferent state of things with regard to the way in 
which the present in